Are you exempt? VAT – What you need to know
Our prices and zero-rate VAT
The prices shown on our website do not include VAT, but VAT at 20% will be added to your order at the checkout stage.
However, many of our products can be supplied to personal shoppers at zero-rate VAT. These include disposable and washable continence care goods, as well as many items from our mobility, independent living and other ranges. There are rules governing the supply of goods at zero-rate VAT, and it’s important that you understand them, because you may need to make a short declaration in order to claim VAT relief on your purchase. You should also be aware that there are penalties for making a false declaration.
You can visit the HM Customs & Revenue website to browse or download the full details of the rules by clicking here, but in brief, here’s how it works:
The three golden rules
Goods can only be supplied at zero-rate when all three of the following conditions are met:
1. The customer must be eligible to buy the goods at zero-rate
This means that you (or the person that you are buying the goods for) must meet the description of ‘a chronically sick or disabled person’. What does this mean?
The rules say that this includes anyone
- with a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon his/her ability to carry out everyday activities
- with a condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes, or
- who is terminally ill
The condition or disability must be long-term or permanent, so for example, a person with chronic arthritis would be eligible, but someone with a broken arm would not.
Depending on the type of goods you are buying, we may have to ask you to make a short declaration confirming that you are eligible, but don’t worry – unlike many of our competitors, we can accept your declaration quickly, simply, and securely, online.
2. The goods must be for the personal and domestic use of the customer
The goods must be specifically for the individual use of you, or the person you are buying them for. This will form part of your declaration, if we have to ask you for one.
3. The goods must be eligible to be sold at zero-rate
There are literally thousands of items that qualify for zero-rating. These include all disposable and washable continence care goods, and many other products designed to improve daily life and promote independence for the elderly and less able. Under the rules, only the designer or manufacturer can decide if a product is eligible.
Depending on the type of goods you are buying, you may be required to make a short declaration, to confirm that you are eligible for VAT relief on your purchase. Here’s how it works:
When you’ve finished shopping and click on the ‘Checkout’ link, our smart checkout system will identify any products in your shopping basket that qualify for zero rating. Remember that not all products qualify.
If your basket contains any qualifying goods, then you will be prompted to make your declaration, confirming that you are eligible to buy them at zero-rate VAT. Remember you will still have to pay VAT on any non-qualifying goods in your basket, and on delivery charges, if any.
Your declaration is completed in a secure, encrypted area of our website, and is treated as strictly confidential. Under the rules, we are required to hold a copy of your declaration with our VAT records, but we promise that none of your details will ever be disclosed to any other company. Once you have completed your declaration, you’ll be able to complete your purchase, and look forward to swift, discreet delivery of your goods. Remember that you may incur a penalty if you knowingly make a false VAT relief declaration.
Exceptions – Continence care products
If you are buying continence care goods, there’s no need to complete a full VAT relief declaration, so long as you are buying fewer than 200 disposable pads, 50 washable pads, or 10 pairs of waterproof / leak-proof underwear, and you confirm that the goods are for the personal use of you or the individual you are buying them for.
Please Contact us if you have any questions, or if you are unsure about your VAT position. Alternatively you may wish to enquire with the HM Revenue & Customs National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000. Lines are open between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday.