7. VAT relief for disabled people

If you’re disabled or have a long-term illness, you won’t be charged VAT on products designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use. Also, you won’t be charged VAT on:

  • the installation and any extra work needed as part of this
  • repairs or maintenance
  • spare parts or accessories

The product and your disability have to qualify.

Qualifying products or services

Your supplier can tell you, but usually products designed or adapted for a disability qualify. For example, certain types of:

  • adjustable beds
  • stair lifts
  • wheelchairs
  • medical appliances to help with severe injuries
  • alarms
  • braille paper or low vision aids - but not spectacles or contact lenses
  • motor vehicles - or the leasing of a motability vehicle
  • building work like ramps, widening doors, installing a lift or toilet

How to get the product VAT free

To get the product VAT free your disability has to qualify. For VAT purposes, you’re disabled or have a long-term illness if:

  • you have a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to carry out everyday activities - eg blindness
  • you have a condition that’s treated as chronic sickness, like diabetes
  • you’re terminally ill

You don’t qualify if you’re elderly but able-bodied, or if you’re temporarily disabled.

You’ll need to confirm in writing that you meet these conditions. Your supplier may give you a form for this.

Help from your council

You can apply to your council for equipment or help to adapt your home if you have a disability.

Importing goods

You don’t pay VAT if you import qualifying goods that are for your own personal or domestic use. This includes certain goods for blind and partially sighted people.

If you use a freight service they can help you with the paperwork, otherwise make sure the following is written on parcel, ‘Goods for disabled people: relief claimed’.

If you bring them in yourself, declare them in the red channel at Customs. For any other method of import, contact the National Import Reliefs Unit.

National Import Reliefs Unit
028 6634 4557
Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

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