What is an eligibility declaration?
The supplier has to obtain the necessary information to confirm that the purchaser meets the criteria for zero-rating. To demonstrate entitlement to the relief, both eligible individuals and eligible charities are asked to provide their supplier with a simple written declaration stating their eligibility. HMRC has produced specimen declarations in ‘Notice 701/7 VAT reliefs for disabled people’.
There is no legal requirement for an eligibility declaration to be used but the supplier must be able to demonstrate, that the conditions for zero-rating have been met.
Suppliers should be discouraged from:
- asking the disabled person to provide a doctor’s certificate confirming their disability; or
- removing labels from the disabled person’s medication
instead of asking for the person to complete an eligibility declaration.
Use and misuse of eligibility declaration forms
Although there should be a correlation between the disability described on the declaration and the goods purchased, no medical or similar corroboration of a person’s disability (or of an eligible charity’s activities with regard to disabled people) is required. There is a danger that retailers will accept dubious or incomplete declarations because they fail to check them or because they gain a trading advantage by doing so.
The supplier’s systems and procedures should not require or lead customers to make automatic declarations, for example, requiring a simple signature to both confirm order/sale and declare eligibility for zero-rated goods.
Suppliers should take all reasonable steps to ensure that declarations are accurate and there is entitlement to the relief.
Who can complete and sign the eligibility declaration form?
There may be instances when the disabled person will be unable to sign the declaration. The disabled person may be:
- a child; or
- unable to write.
In such cases, the signature of:
- a parent;
- doctor; or
- other health professional
is acceptable on the declaration.
We accept that goods or services are supplied to a disabled person when supplied to a:
- guardian; or
- trustee acting on that person’s behalf.