VAT Free Purchasing
If you qualify for VAT exemption, you won’t have to pay VAT on mobility goods that qualify under the VAT relief scheme. Total Mobility will simply charge you the VAT-free amount – so you DO NOT have to pay VAT up front and then reclaim this from the government.
Who Qualifies for VAT Exemption?
You can qualify to buy mobility products VAT-free if you are chronically sick or disabled. Goods purchased must be for your own personal, non-business use.
For the purposes of VAT relief, Her Majesty’s Customs & Revenue (HMRC) defines ‘chronically sick or disabled’ as:
- 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 chronic sickness, such as diabetes
- you have a terminal illness.
Temporary mobility impairment (a broken leg, for example) does not qualify for VAT exemption.
What About Older People?
VAT exemption for mobility products is not directly effected by age. If you are 60 years of age or older and you have a chronic illness or disability, as defined in the section above, you can still qualify for VAT-free mobility products. On the other hand if you are over 60 you do not automatically qualify for VAT relief.
Note: Lower Rate VAT – Anyone over age 60 can qualify for reduced rate (5%) VAT on specific home aids, namely grab rails, ramps, stair lifts, bath lifts, built-in shower seats or showers containing built-in seats and walk-in baths.
Which Types of Mobility Products Can I Buy VAT-free?
Listed below are examples of the many types of mobility product that can be purchased VAT-free. If there’s something you need and you’re in any doubt as to whether or not this will be VAT-free for you, please contact us and we’ll be happy to offer further advice. You can also click HMRC here to contact Customs & Revenue advisors.
Examples of VAT-relief qualifying products:
- Wheelchairs, powerchairs and scooters
- Wheelchair accessible vehicles
- Adapted vehicles
- Vehicle adaptations, such as driving aids, swivel seats and wheelchair hoists and storage boxes
- Electrically or mechanically adjustable beds
- Toileting aids, such as commode chairs, commode stools and frames for sitting on or rising from a toilet
- Chair lifts or stair lifts designed for use in connection with a wheelchair
- Rise and recline chairs
- Emergency home alarm systems designed to alert a carer or control centre
- Incontinence products
- Some audio products (but not standard hearing aids)
- Some aids for partially sighted people (but not glasses or contact lenses)
- Medical appliances designed solely for the relief of a severe abnormality or severe injury
You can also qualify for VAT relief on:
- Installation, servicing or repair of any of the above items
- Lease of a Motability vehicle
- Hire of wheelchair accessible and adapted vehicles
Certain categories of building work, to adapt your home (for example ramps, lifts, wider doorways), can also qualify for VAT exemption.
How Do I Apply?
VAT exemption works by self-declaration – you complete and sign a form stating that you meet the criteria for ‘chronically sick or disabled’, as set out above. Independent or NHS medical assessment is not required.
Declaration forms are available from Total Mobility stores and you can complete this at point of purchase. If the purchaser is unable to sign their declaration form, this can be done by a parent, guardian, doctor or carer on their behalf. Faxed and online declarations are also valid.