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HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

Motor vehicles [items 2(f) and 2A]: what does ‘substantially and permanently adapted’ mean under Item 2A for a vehicle adapted for a disabled person who is normally a wheelchair user?

Item 2A is more generous, unlike Item 2(f), it does not require the disabled person to remain in the wheelchair or stretcher whilst the vehicle is in motion.

The Tribunal considered in the case of Quentin Hylands (18560) whether the motor vehicle supplied to the Appellant was ‘substantially and permanently adapted’.

In the Quentin Hylands (18560) case, the Tribunal considered whether the motor home imported for the Appellant’s father was ‘substantially and permanently adapted for the carriage of a person in a wheelchair’. The Commissioners’ declined relief from import VAT “on the ground that the ramp was too steep, that it was not considered to be permanent and not considered to be substantial and also unfit for the purpose intended”.

The Tribunal Chairman agreed with the Appellant’s contention:

“The evidence showed clearly that it consisted of a large piece of equipment, the ramps, which were capable of being put in place with reasonable ease to allow the wheel-chair to be pushed up into the vehicle, and of being dismantled and stowed conveniently and tidily within the vehicle. There was also a mounting on the floor of the vehicle to take the wheels of the wheel-chair, which were then clamped in position when the vehicle was moving. This mounting was either bolted or welded to the floor. It appeared to us that the adaptations were certainly capable of being used for so long as the Appellant’s father would require them.

It seems clear to us that without the ramp the Appellant’s father would be unable to enter the Rambler, and without the floor mounting for the wheelchair he would be unable safely to be transported in it. That alone is enough to satisfy the definition of substantial in Notice 701/59.”