If you have a long-term illness or you’re disabled, you don’t have to pay VAT on certain goods and services that you buy in the UK.
In general the equipment covered by this scheme are things that are of practical help to you because of your illness or disability.
If you are in any doubt as to whether you are eligible to receive goods or services zero-rated for VAT you should consult Notice 701/7 VAT reliefs for disable people or the HMRC National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000.
What counts as a long-term illness or disabled?
For VAT purposes, you have a long-term illness or you’re disabled if you meet any of the following conditions:
- you have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-terms and substantial adverse effect upon your ability to carry out everyday activities
- you have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes
- you are terminally ill
So, you don’t qualify if you are elderly but otherwise able-bodied, or if you’re only temporarily disabled or incapacitated.
You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.
What counts as personal or domestic use?
Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes.
Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general.
However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.