You'll only be able to buy goods and services without VAT if you are 'chronically sick or disabled', and you are buying them for your own personal or domestic use. For VAT purposes, a person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they:
So, you won't qualify if you're only temporarily disabled or incapacitated (e.g. if you have a broken leg)
Before you pay for any product or service, check that it qualifies for zero-rating and that the supplier is registered for VAT.
When you buy a zero-rated product or service, you may have to sign a form declaring that you have a chronic illness or disability and what it is. You must also declare that the product or service is for your own 'personal or domestic use'. The supplier should have copies of this form. If you can't sign the written declaration yourself, the signature of your parent, guardian, doctor or another responsible person is acceptable on the declaration.
You can then buy the product or service at a price that excludes VAT. You don't have to pay VAT and then reclaim it - it will be taken off the purchase price before you pay.
Note that you don't have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won't be charged VAT.
The rules about VAT relief for disabled people are complex. Not everything that is supplied to disabled people is zero-rated for VAT. Before paying for any product or service, check that it qualifies for zero-rating and that the supplier is registered for VAT. A product or service must be supplied for the 'personal or domestic use' of a chronically sick or disabled person to qualify for zero-rating. Some examples of products that are zero-rated for VAT are:
You also won't have to pay VAT on any charges made for the installation, repair and maintenance of these items, or on any spare parts and accessories needed for them.
If you need to have any general-purpose goods adapted for your use, because of your condition, anything you pay to have them adapted will be VAT free, but you'll still have to pay the normal rate of VAT on the goods themselves.
You can find out more about VAT relief for disabled people on the GOV.UK website. If you can't find the answer to your questions there, you can call the HM Revenue & Customs helpline.
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