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HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

Medical and surgical supplies: goods supplied to non-charitable nursing homes, or to patients in nursing homes

The supply is to the home and not the individual and therefore standard-rated. In the case of SCA Molnlycke (LON/96/055), the Tribunal considered whether supplies of incontinence products for the use of residents of a private non-charitable nursing home ‘Westgate House’ could be zero-rated. The Tribunal found that in reality, the supply was to the home and so had to be standard-rated. This was for two main reasons:

  • the non-charitable nursing home was bound by contracts to third parties such as the local authority, to provide a single package of ‘care’ to all its residents and was prohibited from delegating any element of that supply to another party; and
  • the residents of Westgate House were not of sound mind and so were incapable of entering into any legal contracts to obtain incontinence products in their own right; in reality the goods were provided as part of a comprehensive care package supplied by the home.

The above factors are likely to apply to any non-charitable nursing home.