Do I have to pay VAT?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017  |  taylor

What is VAT exemption?

The standard rate for VAT in the UK is 20%. However, individuals who are chronically sick or are permanently disabled can claim VAT exemption when they are buying products that have been specifically designed for disabled people, and are for their own personal and domestic use. This means that VAT exempt individuals pay the retail price without the 20% VAT.

Do I have to pay VAT?

No. If you are suffering from a chronic, long term disability such as arthritis or diabetes, then you are eligible for VAT exemption. When there are two prices being shown for one product, the lower price is the price available to those who are suffering from long term disabilities, and who intend to use the product for personal and domestic use.

Chronically sick means that you have an illness that is likely to last for a long time, examples of chronic illnesses are arthritis, asthma and cancer.

Disabled means permanently handicapped by illness or injury. You do not have to be registered disabled to claim VAT exemption, but you must disclose the nature of your disablement in your declaration.

However, if the item is not VAT exemptable by the manufacturers, then you will have to pay VAT.

Why are some products VAT exempt but others aren’t?

For a product to be VAT exempt, it must be specifically manufactured for disabled or chronically ill people. For example, as a wheelchair is specifically made for disabled people, it is VAT exempt. Whereas other products, such as a magnifier, can be used by anybody, not just people with long term disabilities or chronic illnesses. This means that you have to pay VAT for this item.


How do you get it?

When buying a product, the dealer will ask you if you are VAT exempt. If the dealer does not ask you, and you suffer from a long term chronic disability, then you will need to ask the dealer for a VAT exemption form. If you do wish to claim VAT exemption, then you will need to fill out the form that will be given to you.  This will require you to write down your name, address and the disability of which you are suffering from, and you can pay for the item without VAT.

We are required to retain a copy of your VAT exemption form and it may be passed to HM Customs & excise as evidence of your eligibility for VAT exemption. If you are in any doubt about whether you qualify for VAT exemption, then please contact us for clarification. Alternatively, you may want to contact your local HM Customs & Excise which will provide you with extra information. If their website cannot provide you with the answers to your questions, then you can speak to one of the advisors from Customs and Excise helpline and consult Notice 701/7. Their Helpline is 0300 200 3700, and it is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

If you would like to place your order by telephone and intend to claim VAT exemption, we will only be able to dispatch your order once we have received a signed VAT exemption form. On the receipt of your telephone order we will send you Order Acknowledgement and a form will need to be completed and returned to us.



Where the end user is unable to make the purchase themselves, it is possible for a representative to make a declaration on their behalf. The representative will be required to state the end users name, address and their illness or disability on the VAT declaration.

Wings Mobility will always give advice and guidance on VAT eligibility. If you need further advice contact us today or call 01293 322843