VAT free adaptations

Hello all

I’ve got to have my wet room floor replaced because of a tear in it. We’ve arranged for a company to replace it, last week my OH went into the shop, came home and said, the cost is £500. I immediately asked, is that with VAT relief? He’d forgotten to mention it, so went in there again today and checked.

The shop owner had never heard of VAT relief for disabled people! They are flooring specialists and do wet room floors all the time. The owner said ‘I’ve been in business 30 years, I’ve not heard of it, let me check with my accountant’. He immediately phoned the accountant, who said, ‘yes, of course it qualifies’. He emailed over the form, OH completed it, and it’s as easy as that. It costs the business nothing, they adjust their VAT payments to HMRC accordingly. And it saves us money.

So if you are buying goods or a service for use because of your disability it can be VAT free. The legislation talks mostly about goods that are designed for disabled use; although it can apply to other items that may be used by the able bodied, but you actually need them because of your disability. (Like wet rooms.)

The government web address is Financial help if you're disabled: VAT relief for disabled people - GOV.UK for more information. But if the company you are dealing with needs more, this is the detailed guide: Reliefs from VAT for disabled and older people (VAT Notice 701/7) - GOV.UK

As we are getting a new living room carpet from the same shop, the owner has offered to make that VAT free too - because we are replacing a deeper pile carpet for one that is easier to handle a manual wheelchair on (and having it installed without underlay). And as far as I’m aware, that is not outwith the rules either.


Hi Sue. Yes I stumbled on this by accident. I’m only just diagnosed but my bathroom does my head in and the shower curtain always falls down. I thought it would be sensible when I save up enough money to replace my bath with a shower cubicle , as I never have baths anyway as they always made me feel sick with the temperature and the way my bathroom is laid out I have to reach over the bath to open the window. What’s frustrating is that the nhs, ie ms nurse don’t make you aware of things like this, and 20% is a hefty discount in anyone’s books. I mean you could be doing stuff to your house while you are still mobile and well but you are perfectly entitled to claim this. Thanks for highlighting it to everyone.

This vat exemption been around for quite a while, but when I bought something (forgotten what) that could have qualified, the shopkeeper simply said “No we don’t do that” .I protested and said it’s a vat tax rule for qualifying goods supplied to disabled people, but the assistant was adamant.

I bought whatever it was, then discovered from local tax office I could claim the VAT back. At the time, it seemed too much faffing about, so I didn’t claim.

Thanks for reminding us on how to keep our money and not pay VAT!

Chrissie x

wow thank you for this i am having a new wet room in my new home, this will save me a lot of money.

I am in the process of having my bathroom, en-suite and downstairs cloakroom replaced/updated. The chap that is doing them for us told us about this and he is providing stuff for us that will assist a great deal. The shower trays for example are as low as possible, 2 inches high. The toilets are a little taller than a standard toilet to make it more comfortable for a disabled person. The floor tiles in all the rooms are special “non-slip” tiles specifically for the less firm person. He has even designed in hand rails in the bathroom and en-suite that are so unobvious it looks more like an upmarket hotel bathroom than a hospital/disabled persons bathroom. He has been amazing. The one thing I will also say, it is my bathroom chap that is completing the form for us, he will be taking the VAT of the invoice, so it is nothing for us to have to worry about. He did say that this is something he will do for us, but most other suppliers will get you to fill the forms in. I can’t wait for my new rooms to be finished. Charlie.