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HMRC internal manual

VAT Charities

Medical and scientific equipment (“relevant goods”): Charitable institutions providing domiciliary care

The tests for these charities are less exacting, predominantly because they will be involved in purchasing a restricted range of relevant goods due to the nature of the services provided.

What services must be provided?

The charitable institution must demonstrate that they provide medical care to the disabled person in their own home.

What do we mean by “medical care”?

“Medical care” in this context refers to the sort of care a nurse would carry out or supervise, for example:

  • washing
  • getting people out of bed
  • administering drugs etc.

It does not refer to supplies of basic domestic help services such as:

  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • shopping, or
  • laundry.

Help with such domestic tasks is taxable.

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What relevant goods can they purchase at the zero-rate?

Charities who provide domiciliary care are eligible to purchase any of the relevant goods in Legal Note (3)(a) to Group 15 at the zero-rate. This means that items that a nurse would take out to a disabled person’s home are covered, for example:

  • stethoscopes
  • syringes
  • blood pressure equipment.

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How must the relevant goods be used?

The relevant goods must be used in the course of the provision of domiciliary care and must not be used for general purposes.