Vat Disclaimer

It is in the customers interest to read and understand the rules below before declaring that they are vat exempt. Please note any person claiming vat exemption without reading and understanding this notice may be liable to repay vat at a later date if found to be mistaken or otherwise incorrect about their current disability status. 


The following information has been copied from HMRC website.3. Customer eligibility

3.1 Who can purchase zero-rated goods and services?

The zero-rating of goods and services for disabled people depends in part upon the status of the recipient - see paragraph 2.1. You can only zero rate supplies to:

As a supplier you must take reasonable steps to check that your customer is eligible to receive your goods or services at the zero rate.

3.2 Supplies to handicapped people

You can only zero rate supplies to handicapped people when:

3.2.1 What does ‘chronically sick or disabled’ mean?

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

If a parent, spouse or guardian acts on behalf of a ‘chronically sick or disabled’ person, your supply is treated as being made to that ‘chronically sick or disabled’ person.

3.2.2 Terminology

The term ‘disabled’ is used throughout this notice and means ‘handicapped’ or ‘disabled or chronically sick’.

3.3 Supplies to charities

You cannot zero rate all of the goods and services listed at paragraph 2.4 to all charities. You should, therefore, take extra care in checking that a charity is eligible for VAT relief before zero-rating your supply.

Supplies of goods listed at paragraph 2.4 to charities will qualify for VAT relief where the goods are made available by the charity to a disabled person for their personal or domestic use - see paragraph 3.5.

There are certain other circumstances when supplies of goods listed at paragraph 2.4 will qualify for VAT relief - see Notice 701/1 Charities and Notice 701/6 Charity funded equipment for medical, veterinary etc uses.

3.3.1 What is a charity?

Bodies in England and Wales have charitable status when they are registered, excepted or exempted from registration with the Charity Commission, or bodies anywhere in the United Kingdom which are treated by the Inland Revenue as charitable. Not all non-profit making organisations are charities.

There is no distinction for VAT purposes between those charities registered with the Charity Commission and those that are not required to register. However, unregistered charities claiming zero-rating may need to demonstrate that they have ‘charitable status’. This may be achieved from their written constitution or by the recognition of their charitable status by the Inland Revenue.

Further information on VAT reliefs available for charities is contained in Notice 701/1 Charities.

3.4 Supplies to eligible bodies

Supplies purchased by certain healthcare bodies and hospitals with charitable funds may qualify to be zero-rated under separate rules. For more information see VAT Notice 701/6 Charity funded equipment for medical, veterinary etc uses.

3.5 What does for ‘domestic or personal’ use mean?

‘Domestic or personal’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual (or series of eligible individuals).

Excluded from the terms ‘personal’ or ‘domestic’, and not eligible for VAT relief are:

where the items are intended for use in the care or treatment provided in the hospital or nursing home. For more information see Notice 701/31 Health and Care institutions.

3.6 Can anyone pay for the eligible goods and services?

As a general rule, yes.

There are, however, special rules that apply to supplies of certain types of equipment paid for or arranged at the behest of the National Health Service, hospitals or certain other institutions that provide nursing or residential care. For further information on these rules please see Notice 701/31 Health and Care institutions.

3.7 What evidence must I hold to show my customer is eligible?

We recommend that you obtain a written declaration from each customer claiming entitlement to VAT relief. Such a declaration should contain sufficient information to demonstrate that a customer fulfils all the criteria for eligibility. The declaration should be separate, or clearly distinguishable from, any order form or invoice against which the goods or services are supplied. A customer signing an order should not automatically be signing a declaration of eligibility for VAT relief.

There is a suggested declaration form at Section 10 that may be copied or otherwise reproduced by you or the customer.

3.8 What if a customer is unable to make a written declaration?

It may not always be possible for a disabled person to sign a declaration (for example, if the person is a child or unable to write). In such cases, the signature of a parent, guardian, doctor or another responsible person is acceptable on the declaration.

3.9 Can I accept electronic declarations?

Yes. You can accept electronic declarations received, for example over the internet or by fax. Not all electronic declarations will have the means to incorporate a signature. In these circumstances it is important that you retain evidence of the origin of the document, such as the e-mail message incorporating the sender’s address.

As with paper declarations electronic ones should be distinguishable from an order form or invoice. These declarations must be retained for the same period as general VAT accounts and records, and if held electronically must be capable of being produced in hard copy.

3.10 Use and misuse of declaration forms

A declaration only confirms your customer’s status as a person eligible to receive zero-rated goods and services and the use to which he will put the goods or services he buys. It does not mean that the goods and services themselves fulfil all the conditions for zero-rating.

If you believe an eligibility declaration to be inaccurate or untrue, you must not zero rate your supply. You should also take care that procedures, forms and literature do not encourage or lead customers to make such a declaration. There are penalties for making or accepting false declarations and for fraudulent evasion of VAT. If, however, having taken all reasonable steps to check the validity of a declaration you fail to identify an inaccuracy, and in good faith make a supply at the zero rate, we will not seek to recover the tax due, if all other conditions for relief are met. For further information see Notice 48 Extra-statutory concessions.