Scope of this guidance
Our books of guidance are the main reference material for people in the Department. The guidance is aimed at HMRC staff and should not be relied upon by taxpayers purchasing goods and services or businesses in calculating their taxes and/or duties.
The guidance is in Sections to help you to decide if the basic conditions for zero-rating under Group 12 are met and whether supplies of goods or services qualify for zero-rating under specific items.
The law on the specific VAT reliefs available to disabled people is contained in the VAT Act 1994, Schedule 8, Group 12, extracts from which are reproduced in the relevant Sections of this guidance as appropriate. Unlike most VAT reliefs, a supply of goods or services must meet all the following criteria before it can be zero-rated under Group 12:
- it has to fall within one of the qualifying descriptions of goods or services listed in Group 12;
- it must be supplied to a ‘handicapped’ person or to an eligible charity serving the needs of ‘handicapped’ persons; and
- the goods must be for the personal or domestic use of the disabled person.
Other legislation, such as the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, does not extend the scope of the VAT reliefs available under Schedule 8, Group 12. The VAT system does not fully support the adaptations made by Charities to comply with the DDA because we are bound by the EU legislation. Our agreement with other Member States allow us to keep our existing zero-rates but cannot extend the scope of existing reliefs or introduce new ones.