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HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

Chair lifts and stair lifts [item 2(d)]

Conditions to be met under item 2 (d)

The following conditions must be met for zero-rating under item 2(d) (see VRDP05100):

  • the basic pre-conditions for zero-rating (see VRDP05000); and
  • the chair lift or stair lift must be designed for use in connection with a wheelchair.

The VAT relief helps disabled people who are wheelchair users.

Disabled people who are not wheelchair bound are entitled to receive a zero-rated supply of a more ‘general purpose’ lift under the separate provision in Item 16.

Chair lift

A chair lift is a platform conveyed along a rail up or down the stairs, normally to carry a wheelchair.

Stair lift

A stair lift conveys the individual between floors, often to a wheelchair at either end. It must be designed in such a way as to be able to transfer the individual easily from the wheelchair to the lift for zero-rating to apply.

It is not the same as the shaft lifts that operate in offices or tower blocks.

Which lifts are eligible for VAT relief?

The lifts which qualify include stair-lifts and chair-lifts which:

  • are fitted with a bracket to enable the wheelchair to be moved with the lift; or
  • enable a disabled person to transfer to the lift from one wheelchair and transfer to another wheelchair at the other end.

While the lift has to be capable of conveying a wheelchair bound disabled person up and down stairs or from one level to another, the law does not require the disabled person to be seated in the wheelchair when using the lift.