You might be surprised to learn that a high percentage of disabled people in the UK are simply not aware of the VAT exemption and relief available on equipment, aids, vehicles and even work undertaken or purchased if done so purely to meet your needs as a disabled person.
The HM Revenue and Customs defines disability as a “a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon your ability to carry out everyday activities. VAT free purchases must be for your own personal or domestic use. It also includes people with a terminal illness.
Requirements of VAT exemption can be vague but you should not be put off, especially when you are looking at saving a massive 20% on your purchase. Typical example of VAT exemption purchases can be found below:
- A medical or surgical appliances designed to meet the specific needs of your disability.
- Electrically or mechanically adjustable beds for disabled person.
- Wheelchairs, sanitary devices, disabled WC adaptations and accessories
- Wheelchair platform lifts and stair lifts if for the use of someone with a permanent disability (Temporary disabilities do not apply)
- Wheelchairs, hoists and lifts.
- The purchase of a new car or vehicle that has been significantly adapted to meet your needs as a disabled person, swivel chair, adapted handle for controls etc. Most wheelchair users will automatically be legible for the 20% reduction.
This is just a brief example of some of the products and services available to you as a disabled person saving you a massive £20 in every £100 you spend. Example is a few years ago I had a wet room installed to assist me as a wheelchair user, the complete project cost £5000 and I was able to claim the VAT back on not only the labour but also the fixtures and fittings and even the tiles on the wall! A whopping saving of £1000. Certainly not to be sneezed at.
VAT Free Cars
One area where many disabled people are seriously losing out on, possibly because the government chooses not to inform disabled people individually about their VAT exemption rights is the purchase of a new car or vehicle. To find out more about this subject we made contact with a company called Orange Wheels that are specialists in supplying VAT free cars and vehicles to people that rely on a wheelchair either permanently or to go longer distances etc. They also negotiate with some of the biggest main dealers in the UK for the lowest price to supply the car you want so you save on the car as well as the VAT. Listed below are a few examples of savings when purchasing a range of makes and models.
The vehicle examples below are all new and showroom supplied.
Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec 5dr Powershift
List Price £15695
Orangewheels Price £12,259
Total saving £3,436
Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 110 S 5dr
List Price £21.980
Orangewheels Price £19,417
Total saving £2,563
Mercedes GLE 250 d 4matic AMG
Orangewheels Price £46,089
Total saving £5,591
For full details and information about other vehicles and the VAT savings available just give Orange Wheels a call on 0800 612 7844 and they will be more than happy to go through the options and give you greater details about makes and models with you or of course you can check out their VAT Free Cars for Wheelchair Users by clicking the highlighted link.
The vehicle prices above are just to give you an example of the typical savings available and show that savings between £4500.00 and just short of £13,000 are not to be sniffed at and most certainly should be taken seriously.
VAT exemption is your right as a wheelchair user and as a disabled person, it is not a handout or benefit. As a disabled person you need specific products, services and even vehicles to meet your individual needs and paying Value Added Tax on top of what you already have to pay to meet your exact needs is not deemed as fair and therefore VAT exemption is available in specific circumstances.