HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

Goods supplied for the use of disabled people [item 2]: conditions to be met

You should check the other guidance available on GOV.UK from HMRC as Brexit updates to those pages are being prioritised before manuals.

Item 2 lists a wide range of goods which are of use to a disabled person:

  1. The supply to a handicapped person for domestic or his personal use, or to a charity for making available to handicapped persons by sale or otherwise, for domestic or their personal use, of -

(a) medical or surgical appliances designed solely for the relief of a severe abnormality or severe injury;

(b) electrically or mechanically adjustable beds designed for invalids;

(c) commode chairs, commode stools, devices incorporating a bidet jet and warm air drier and frames or other devices for sitting over or rising from a sanitary appliance;

(d) chair lifts or stair lifts designed for use in connection with invalid wheelchairs;

(e) hoists and lifters designed for use by invalids;

(f) motor vehicles designed or substantially and permanently adapted for the carriage of a person in a wheelchair or on a stretcher and of no more than 11 other persons;

(g) equipment and appliances not included in paragraph (2) to (f) above designed solely for use by a handicapped person;

(h) parts and accessories designed solely for use in or with goods described in paragraph (a) to (g) above;

(i) boats designed or substantially and permanently adapted for use by handicapped persons.

Legal Notes

(3) “Handicapped” means chronically sick or disabled.

(4) Item 2 shall not include hearing aids (except hearing aids designed for the auditory training of deaf children), dentures, spectacles and contact lenses but shall be deemed to include -

(a) clothing, footwear and wigs;

(b) invalid wheelchairs, and invalid carriages; and

(c) renal haemodialysis units, oxygen concentrators, artificial respirators and other similar apparatus.

(5) The supplies described in item 1 and 2 include supplies of services of letting on hire of the goods respectively comprised in those items.

Some basic preconditions must be met before zero-rating can be applied. These are that:

  • the recipient must be ‘handicapped’ (that is, ‘chronically sick or disabled’) - see VRDP04100 - ‘Is a person ‘handicapped’’, or
  • in the case of an eligible charity, the goods must be made available to such persons - see VRDP04200 to VRDP04500;
  • the goods must be supplied to that person or charity - see VRDP04200 to VRDP04500;
  • the goods must be for the domestic or personal use of that disabled person, or in the case of an eligible charity, must be made available to disabled persons for their domestic or personal use - see VRDP04200 to VRDP04500; and
  • the supplier must be able to demonstrate that supplies have been made to eligible customers. This is usually evidenced by a customer making an eligibility declaration in the form set out in ‘Notice 701/7 VAT reliefs for disabled people’ - see VRDP44000 for further information.

All the legal conditions must be fully met.

For zero-rating to apply, there must be a separate supply of goods. Such a supply of goods must also be independent of any supply of care provided by non-charitable hospitals, residential homes and similar establishments - see VRDP21000 and VRDP27000.