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HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

Building alterations [items 8 to 13]: bathrooms, washrooms and lavatories

Zero-rating is permitted under items 10, 11 and 12 (see VRDP11050) for the provision, extension or adaptation of a bathroom, washroom or lavatory. Each of those items sets out its own conditions concerning the place where the work is carried out. The conditions are described in greater detail in VRDP11600.

However, in the first instance, the work must be of a type which qualifies for relief under these items. The following works are considered to come within the zero-rate.


The services of providing, extending or altering a bathroom, washroom or lavatory.

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Other essential work

This includes:

  • demolition of an existing outside toilet;
  • preparation of footings including ground levelling;
  • provision of water, gas, electricity and drainage as necessary;
  • covered access to newly provided facilities; and
  • restoration of immediate decor (where appropriate).

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Sensible approach

You should take a sensible approach to these types of building work and allow zero-rating for works which are essential to the completion of a qualifying room such as:

  • where for reasons of practicality or because of planning permission, a passageway has to be constructed to allow a disabled person access to a ground floor bathroom. It would be unreasonable to expect a disabled person to be exposed to the elements when moving from the bathroom to another part of the house.

However, the following works do not come within the scope of the relief:

  • the straightforward substitution of old sanitary ware for new; and
  • works to bedrooms and kitchens

where an extension to provide a bathroom, washroom or lavatory includes a bedroom/dayroom the supply should be apportioned between its standard-rated and zero-rated parts.