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VAT relief

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If you have a disability or long-term illness, you may be able to buy some of our products without paying any VAT. The government allows certain products to be zero-rated for VAT purposes (i.e. no VAT needs to be charged) to reduce the cost of the practical products which you may need because of your disability. Here are some of the more commonly asked questions about the scheme:

Which products are eligible for VAT relief?

The scheme covers products which have been specifically designed to assist the daily living of people with a disability. We have marked these products with a VAT Relief logo so they're easy to spot.

Who qualifies for VAT relief?

You qualify for VAT relief if you have a disability or a long-term illness (but please note the definition of this below) and you're buying the product fo r your own personal or domestic use.

You don't have to buy the goods yourself. If your parent, guardian or spouse buys the goods or services for you, then you won't be charged VAT.

What counts as a long-term illness or disability?

For VAT purposes, you have a disability or long-term illness if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • You have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon your ability to carry out everyday activities
  • You have a condition that the medical profession treats as a long-term illness, such as diabetes
  • You are terminally ill

So, you won't qualify if you're elderly but otherwise able-bodied, or if you're only temporarily disabled such as having a broken leg.

Which conditions are considered to be long-term illnesses?

You're eligible for the VAT relief if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Blind
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Deafness
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney disease
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Physically disabled
  • Terminally ill
  • Other

I am registered as disabled. Does this mean I am automatically exempt from VAT?

No. There is no blanket exemption from VAT for disabled people.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes.

Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use - not for use by anyone else, or for use by a group of chronically sick or disabled people in general.

Can a charity claim VAT relief on products bought for an eligible person?

Yes, provided the product is to be used by a single eligible person, or series of eligible people, rather than being put to general use.

How do I know if I qualify?

If you feel you meet the qualifying conditions above, you can continue with your purchase and state that you are claiming VAT relief. Before checkout, we will ask you to provide details of your condition and to make a legally binding declaration that we may be asked to provide to HM Revenue & Customs. If you specify a condition not on the dropdown list of conditions, a pharmacist will review your claim, once your order has been placed. If you don't qualify, we will contact you and offer you the opportunity to pay the VAT amount or to cancel your order.

Do I need to claim the VAT back from HM Revenue & Customs(HMRC)?

There's no need for you to contact HMRC, as the supply will be treated as zero-rated for VAT purposes if you qualify for the VAT relief. All you have to do is add the item to your basket and complete the short form and declaration. We'll then charge you the price excluding VAT at the checkout.

Where can I get more information about VAT relief available for disabled people?

Full details can be found by searching for "Notice 701/7 VAT Reliefs for disabled people" at www.hmrc.gov.uk.