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HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

Goods supplied for the use of disabled people [item 2]: domestic or personal use

The terms ‘domestic’ and ‘personal’ are not further defined in law therefore everyday meanings apply.

Domestic use

‘Domestic use’ means use in the disabled person’s private residence. This includes circumstances where an eligible charity makes goods available for the use of one or more disabled residents in a residential home.

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Personal use

In the case of Aquakraft Ltd (2215), the Tribunal decided that personal use meant ‘private or exclusive’ use.

The goods must be used specifically by an individual (or series of individuals), to use as they wish such as:

  • shop mobility schemes which loan a wheelchair for the personal use of successive disabled persons. The equipment is returned after use and then issued to another user; or
  • an induction loop system in an eligible charity building enabling a disabled person to switch their hearing aid to the ‘T’ position.

Zero-rating would apply in these circumstances, even if the charity did not know the identity of the user(s) at the time of purchase, because that charity was arranging for a succession of individual personal uses to take place.

Zero-rating does not apply when the equipment is to be made available for general use by a wider group of people.