To VAT or not to VAT

Purchases for personal use

As per VAT Notice 701/7 published by HM Customs & Excise, certain specialised goods and services needed by disabled people may be zero-rated for VAT – when purchased by a disabled person for domestic or personal use or by charities who provide care and facilities for disabled persons.

Please note that there is no requirement for you to be registered as disabled.

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. 

On the website you are able to make an online VAT declaration, to receive zero rating for VAT purposes, when placing an order for applicable products.

Now, we have to confess that lots of people get very confused about VAT and when it does or does not have to be paid. The following interpretation may (or may not!) help you – but please remember, it is only intended as a guide not a legal interpretation!

For us to be able to zero rate a product for VAT, both the product and the user have to be eligible for VAT relief.

The Shipping & Order Processing charge incurs the same VAT rate as the majority of the order.

There are severe penalties for making false declarations. If you are in any doubt about eligibility for relief from VAT on the supply of goods or services you are buying you should get advice from us or your local VAT office before making the declaration – contact details will be in your local telephone directory.

Local Authority, Health Authority and corporate purchases are not eligible for zero rating.

Eligibility – as per HMRC VAT notice 701/7

We can only zero rate supplies to handicapped people when the person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and the goods and services are purchased or acquired for their personal or domestic use.

What does ‘chronically sick or disabled’ mean?

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

  1. with a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon his/her ability to carry out everyday activities;
  2. with a condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes; or who is terminally ill.

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.

HMRC VAT notice 701/7 can be read in full here(

VAT on postage & delivery charges

As per HMRC rules the VAT liability on postage and delivery charges is based on the VAT liability of the order. i.e. if all or most of the order is 20% VAT then VAT is charged; conversely if all or most of the order is 0% VAT then we charge 0% on the postage & delivery charge.

The HMRC guidance on VAT on postage can be read here. (

EU Company purchases.

If you are ordering for a VAT registered EU Company not based in the UK, you will be able to supply your VAT Details and we will not charge you VAT on your order. Contact our customer services on 0800 001 6145 or before placing your order.

Countries outside of the EU

VAT is not charged on orders for delivery to countries outside of the EU. Contact our customer services on 0800 001 6145 or before placing your order.

Still have a question?

Please contact us for more information.

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