Definitions and use of terms: meaning and use of the term ‘handicapped’
‘Handicapped’ is defined in Legal Note 3 to Group 12 of Schedule 8 of the VAT Act 1994 as follows:
‘Handicapped’ means chronically sick or disabled.
It is a fairly wide definition, covering many of those who are sick as well as those who are disabled.
Use in VAT law
A concept common to the majority of Group 12 is that the goods or services must be supplied:
- to ‘a handicapped person’; or
- to an eligible charity which serves the needs of disabled people
for zero-rating to apply.
However, in items 2(g), 2(h) and 2(i), a condition of zero-rating is that the goods must be:
- ‘designed solely for use by a handicapped person’; or
- ‘designed or substantially and permanently adapted for use by handicapped persons’.
In this context, the term ‘handicapped’ becomes important as a means of judging whether the goods themselves qualify for zero-rating, and further guidance as to how to make this judgement can be found under the third, fourth and fifth subheadings of VRDP38000.
|Aquakraft Ltd (2214)||The Tribunal was not prepared to accept that a person was chronically sick or disabled simply by having a slipped disc.|
|Posturite (UK) Ltd (7848)||The Tribunal accepted that otherwise able bodied persons suffering from neck or back pain did not qualify as chronically sick or disabled.|
|G D Searle & Co Ltd (13439)||The Tribunal found that whilst asthma was undoubtedly a serious health problem, that did not mean that all 3 million sufferers were ‘chronically sick or disabled’. On that basis, an aerosol spray for killing off dust mites was ruled ineligible for zero-rating.|