Understanding VAT Discounts for the Disabled on Care Aids
With over 10 million people registered as disabled in the UK out of a total population of around 62 million, well over fifteen percent of the country could be benefitting from discounts on a wide range of products designed to help them with their condition.
In the UK, people who are either disabled or chronically ill are able to receive VAT discounts on specific products, in particular care aids, and also certain services designed to help them cope with living with their disability or illness. With VAT rates currently at a massive twenty percent in the UK, this could mean massive discounts on care aids, especially for high value purchases such as cars or mobility scooters.
These items are commonly known as being zero rated, so when buying online look for a retailer who offers zero rated VAT, VAT relief or VAT free products for eligible customers. All reputable online suppliers of goods for the disabled and chronically ill will be aware of and offer this discount on their products.
Who is Entitled to VAT Discounts
Unfortunately, not everyone who needs care aids is entitled to a VAT discount. To qualify, you must either be chronically sick or disabled.
In other words, if you are claiming VAT discounts for a disability you must have either a physical or mental impairment that has a significant and long term effect on your ability to carry out day to day activities, for example blindness or paralysis.
To claim VAT discounts as a chronically sick person you must either be terminally ill or suffer from a condition that your doctor is treating as a chronic illness such as diabetes or arthritis.
People who are only temporarily disabled, such as with a broken leg, do not qualify for VAT exemptions. Also, elderly people who are frail but are otherwise able bodied and do not suffer from any chronic illnesses or disabilities are not eligible.
If you are buying goods for commercial use, such as in a nursing home for the elderly, you will not qualify for VAT relief. However, if you are not chronically ill or disabled yourself but are buying goods for someone who is then you will qualify, for example if you are buying a wheelchair for a relative or friend. If you are over 60 you may also be entitled to a VAT discount for mobility aids installed in your home, regardless of whether or not you have a disability or illness.
What You Can Get Discounts On
Similarly, not all care aids can be bought VAT free. In general, products that are specifically designed to relieve the symptoms of the chronic illness or disability, or certain services with the same intention, can be bought without having to pay any VAT.
Items that can be bought at zero VAT include ..
* Certain sanitary devices such as a commode
* Adjustable beds, chair lifts and hoists
* Hearing aids
* Sight aids
* Certain medical and surgical appliances designed for the relief of a severe disability or injury
* Certain alarms
* Motor vehicles such as cars, boats and mobility scooters that are designed solely for chronically ill or disabled people
Many services to help the disabled and chronically ill in their day to day life can also be bought at zero VAT, such as...
* Converting cars for use by a disabled person
* Building ramps, doorways and passages at home for wheelchair users
* Renovating bathrooms and toilets to make them disabled user friendly
* Building lifts specifically for use by a disabled or chronically ill person
Plus, if you qualify for VAT relief you also will not have to pay any VAT on maintenance or repair work on these items, or on any replacement parts or extra accessories that are needed to go with them.
Sometimes you may want to buy regular goods and then have them adapted so that you can use them, such as buying a normal toilet for your bathroom but then installing a raised seat and support bars to make it suitable for a wheelchair user. In cases such as these, you will have to pay VAT on the product as it is not designed specifically for disabled or chronically ill people, but you will be able to claim VAT relief on adaption work such as the bars and the cost of installing them.
Understanding the VAT disabled and chronically ill people are exempt from can really save you a huge amount of money when it comes to purchasing care aids. It can be difficult to get overpaid VAT charges refunded so knowing whether or not you have to pay VAT on that commode or on a stair lift installation is an absolute must.
About the Author
Iain Jenkins writes articles on care aids that have reduced VAT disabled people can take advantage of. From different types of commode to mobility scooters and crutches, Mobility Aids Direct have a very wide range of daily living aids for many different problems.