VAT exemptions for the disabled

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I was asked this week whether we could do some work free from VAT widening a door to improve wheelchair access.  I am embarrassed to admit that, until recently, I didn’t know this was possible.  As it turns out, VAT exemptions are available provided that the work done allows the disabled person to improve the management of their condition. Sadly, the rules make it pretty clear that the regulations don’t exist to make your home look pretty!  Still, any help is welcome!

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The rules are pretty complicated – as you might expect when the Government agrees to miss out on some tax revenue.  Let me try to summarise.  

By the way, before I go on and if this might be important for you, I have put the links to the Government website at the bottom of this blog.  Have a look for yourself.  Of course, you can also just get in touch with me at and I will try to help.

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Who is Eligible?

Broadly the Government rules say that:

  • the person making the claim must be ‘chronically sick or disabled’.  What does that mean?  Well the rules say that the words include:
    • physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on ability to carry out everyday activities;
    • a condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes; 
    • But be very careful because this does not include elderly people who are not disabled or chronically sick or anybody else who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.
  • The next important thing is that a parent, spouse or guardian can act on behalf of a ‘chronically sick or disabled’ dependent. 
  • The goods or services you want to buy from us must be eligible for VAT relief – read below for more about what work is eligible and what is not.
  • Finally, the goods and services that are bought must be for the qualified person’s personal or domestic use.
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What Goods and Services are Included?

There is a huge list of items and works that can be included within the rules (and an awful lot of exemptions too).  The best thing to do is to have a look at the link and read paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 in particular.  

Dovecote is able to help with doors so here is a quick summary of the broad guidelines that allow us to do the work.  Essentially we can widen an existing doorway or passage but not build you a new one (Paragraph 6.2).  The work must be done to help the qualified person gain access to or move about within the building and in their private residence – and note that a private residence includes the garden, outbuildings and so on.

Be Careful.

We are really pleased to be able to help the disabled get critical work done.  Please, do be careful to read all the explanations before you start planning though.  There are lots of rules which I have only summarised here.

It’s our job to confirm that the work we do is reasonable under the rules.  We will check that with you when we do the planning so please mention to us if you think you may be qualified for the exemption.  We will ask you to complete a very short form – Part 1 is for us and Part 2 for you.  Here is a link to the template:

We would love you to get in touch and discuss your needs with us.  You can reach us by:


Phone:  01993 229000 

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VAT exemptions for the disabled

I was asked this week whether we could do some work free from VAT widening a door to improve wheelchair access.  I am embarrassed to