SHOPPING FOR LOVED ONES - ARE THEY ENTITLED TO VAT EXEMPTION?
Sending gorgeous gifts this Christmas or shopping on behalf of loved ones?
We love that so many of you purchase our adaptive clothing as beautiful gifts for family, friends and loved ones. We also like to shout about the fact we can offer VAT relief on the majority of them too. This is because they have been specifically designed to help make dressing easier.
We often get asked how does it work? Am I eligible, is my relative eligible? So we have put together this guide to make it all a little clearer.
What is VAT exemption?
VAT is a tax that you pay when you buy goods and services as a consumer within the European Union, including the UK. 20% is the standard rate for VAT.
H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) states that “equipment that has been designed solely for people with a disability, chronic or terminal illness or on the adaptation of equipment so they can use it can be VAT exempt”.
So if you or your relative are entitled to VAT exemption, you just have to pay the retail price excluding VAT.
This is why you will see 2 prices in our catalogue and online, one with the VAT included (for those who are not exempt, as you would see in most high street retailers) and one "excl VAT" for those who are exempt.
Who is entitled to VAT exemption?
As per HMRC wording, “people with a disability, chronic or terminal illness” can be VAT exempt. Chronically sick means that you have an illness that is likely to last a long time and disabled means substantially and permanently handicapped by illness or injury. Some disabilities covered by this include arthritis, diabetes, lupus, angina, parkinson’s, stroke, dementia, fibromyalgia, MS and ME.
Please be aware that VAT exemption does not apply to 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.
The items must not be purchased for the general use of other able-bodied persons, they have to be for the own ‘personal and domestic use’ of the disabled individual.
How do I claim?
If you or someone you are buying for qualifies, to claim VAT exemption we need written confirmation of your name, your address and the nature of your disability and/or chronic or terminal illness.
We have made this very simple through our various ways to shop:
Once you have filled your basket with lots of lovely clothes and you are at checkout you will need to follow these steps if you are a new customer:
- Tick the box 'I qualify for VAT Exemption'.
- You will then be prompted to create an account by clicking on the 'Create an Account' link.
- Complete details fully for all boxes to set up an account, and tick the button to show that you do qualify for VAT Exemption. Go on to complete the extra details fully for the VAT Exempt claimant and then click ‘Create’.
- Your account has now been created so click ‘Take me to my Cart’ to proceed with the order.
- For future orders, log in and VAT exemption will automatically be applied.
Please note we will only be able to dispatch VAT exempt orders once we have created an account and declared the details required for VAT exemption.
If you are ordering from our catalogue by post, please ensure you complete the 'Claiming VAT Relief' section on the order form and add your signature (or that of someone who can sign for you).
If you have found us online, but want to order by post, please give us a call and we can send you a catalogue with order form to claim VAT relief.
We always love to hear from you and are happy to take orders over the phone, but if this is your first purchase with us and you are claiming VAT relief, you will need to do this online or by post, so we can have the relevant forms from you. Subsequent orders can then be made on the phone with ease just mention you are VAT Exempt when placing an order.
What HMRC require
The Government requires that you fill in a simple declaration setting out the nature of your disability and/or chronic or terminal illness. We are required to retain a copy of your declaration and it may be passed to HMRC as evidence of your eligibility.
The Able Label require no proof of your disability or a doctor’s letter, however you need to remember that it is an offence to falsely claim that you or someone you are buying for is eligible for VAT exemption under the guidelines.
What to do now?
If after reading this guide you are still unsure if you or the person you are buying for qualifies for VAT exemption then please read the HMRC guide http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/sectors/consumers/disabled.htm, consult your doctor for clarification or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where we will be happy to help.