VAT exemption explained

By: Helen West,

VAT exemption explained

Navigating the world of taxes can be a minefield, and VAT exemption is no different.

You may have heard that certain products and services are exempt from VAT. These are products that have been designed to help those with a disability or long-term illness.

If you have a disability or long-term illness, you may be eligible for VAT relief when you buy a Middletons product.

However, old age does not count as a disability. If you are elderly but able-bodied you won’t qualify for VAT exception. Similarly, a temporary disability, such as a broken leg, does not qualify.

Who is eligible?

VAT-exempt products and services are also known as ‘zero-rated.’ Items that are commonly eligible for VAT exemption include:

  • Rise and recline chairs
  • Specialist adjustable beds
  • Mobility scooters

You can find a more in-depth list in this government notice.

If one of our products is eligible for VAT relief, this is indicated next to the price on our website.

However, both the product you are buying, and you, have to meet the qualifications. This means you must be buying a product that is eligible for VAT exemption, and be disabled or suffering from a long-term illness.

The product must also be for personal or domestic use, because there are different rules for businesses and charities.

HMRC considers you to be disabled or have a long-term illness if:

  • You have a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to carry out everyday activities, such as blindness
  • You have a condition that is treated as chronic sickness, like diabetes
  • You are terminally ill

Common medical conditions that are considered to be a disability or long-term illness include:

  • Arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s

You don’t need to be registered as disabled or on any benefits in order to qualify for VAT exemption. We don’t require proof of your disability, just your declaration as to the nature of your disability at the time of purchase. 

If you have a qualifying condition and are buying a product that is eligible for VAT exemption, you will need to tell us when you reach the checkout.

You will need to select your medical condition from the drop-down list. If you are not eligible for VAT relief, you will need to check the box underneath, next to the statement: ‘I do not, or the person I am purchasing for, qualify for VAT relief.’

You don't have to physically buy the item yourself. If someone else, such as your husband or wife, is purchasing the item for you, they won't be charged VAT.

Once you have confirmed your medical condition, the VAT will be removed from the total price you need to pay.

Your information is kept secure and in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team on 0800 999 2831.