Could You Be Free from Paying VAT on Disabled Equipment?

12 August 2014, 11:47

You probably already know that some goods are VAT free. It all depends on which goods they are and who they are available for. A good example concerns certain goods and services that are required by disabled people. This type of VAT relief means they are able to purchase essential items at a cheaper price than they would otherwise be able to do.

The definition of disabled refers to a person having an impairment that permanently affects your approach to life. For example it wouldn’t apply to someone with a broken leg as that would eventually repair itself. However someone with a broken back who is then paralysed as a result would be eligible to buy certain goods free from VAT. The impairment must be long-term but it doesn’t necessarily have to be physical in nature. It could be mental in nature instead.

Another situation in which you may not need to pay VAT on certain items is if you are suffering from a long-term illness. Not all illnesses will be covered here, but ones such as diabetes which can have a long-term and marked effect on health and well-being are included. Terminally ill people can also make use of the VAT free nature of some goods.

A variety of goods are available that are free from VAT in this sense. If you are buying things such as adjustable beds for your own use and you are disabled and you qualify to buy them VAT free, you won’t be charged the VAT element. Of course if you aren’t disabled and you fancy the idea of having one of these adjustable beds, you’ll have to pay the VAT as you would on anything else. Other examples of potentially VAT free items include stair lifts, wheelchairs and some auditory and low vision aids.

It is a good idea to find out whether you qualify in this sense first. Once you have done this you can see which items you can get without paying the extra VAT on top. Needless to say this can help you financially so it is worth finding out more about it.

Another area you might be entitled to VAT free purchases in is building work, but again only of a certain kind. If you need a ramp to get from the street to your front door in a wheelchair for instance, this could be eligible. There is plenty more information around that can help you find out more about the situation as it relates to you. It’s good to know that VAT relief is available in certain areas and for certain people. If you think you might be one of those people, why not find out more about it now? It could turn out to be a good decision.



  1. Hi ho again,
    Can I, as a disabled person with one good and one stuffed up leg and COPD gain a automatic gear box motor car for me to drive?

    I am also a member of Irish Wheelchair and use two crutches every day for the last 15 years or so. my wheelchair is just too big for the buses that are used in my home area.

    Can you please look into it and get back TO ME?
    Thanks a Million, SEanS

    — Sean Strand · Sep 25, 10:32 AM · #