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”. This means that to those this applies to, just the retail price excluding VAT is paid.

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.

What items are VAT exempt?

All products shown with "excl VAT" prices are available for purchase with VAT exemption.

How do I claim?

If you qualify, 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:


Follow the subsequent steps when shopping for your first order:

  1. Before adding product(s) to your cart, in addition to selecting the size, colour and quantity you would like - choose the ‘VAT exempt’ option under Tax and select ‘Add to Cart’.
  2. Once you have finished shopping and wish to proceed to checkout, go to your cart. You will then be prompted to ‘Confirm VAT Exemption and Checkout’.
  3. Complete details fully for all boxes to set up an account, and tick the box 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’.
  4. Your account has now been created so click ‘Check Out’ to proceed with the order.
  5. If you already have an account with The Able Label but you didn't fill out the exemption information, fill out this form and we'll update your account to shop VAT free.
  6. For future orders, log in and VAT exemption will automatically be applied.

Please note you will only be able to checkout with VAT exempt products once you have created an account and declared the details required for VAT exemption.

Mail Order

If posting your order from a catalogue, 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).


On your first purchase by phone, you will need to order by post or online.

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 cservices@theablelabel.com where we will be happy to help.