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HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

Asthma, hay fever and allergy products

Vacuum cleaners and air purification products

All supplies of vacuum cleaners, air purification products and similar allergy relief products are liable to VAT at the standard rate, irrespective of to whom they are supplied.

Our policy of standard-rating these products is based on the Tribunal case of G D Searle and Co Ltd (13439)

Aerosol spray

The Tribunal found that an aerosol spray which was designed to kill off dust mites did not qualify for zero-rating:

“We were told and we readily accept that asthma causes 100,000 hospital visits annually and resulted in a death every four hours in 1993. We were told that it affects 10-20 per cent of children and 5 per cent of adults, some 3 million people in all. While this demonstrates the seriousness of asthma as a health problem, it does not follow that all three million are to be considered as “chronically sick or disabled”….We concluded that even on the basis of Dr Maunder’s assertion that Actomite was designed for asthma sufferers and not for anyone else that it does not meet the statutory requirement that it be “designed solely for use by a handicapped person”…. The evidence of labelling indicates that Actomite is also designed for other allergic conditions such as ‘sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes’. We do not accept that persons prone to suffer these are by definition ‘chronically sick or disabled’.”