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VAT tax Refund I purchased a wheelchair through the Amazon

Customer Question

VAT tax Refund
I purchased a wheelchair through the Amazon website. It was quite clearly priced TOTAL £2098.00. After delivery of the chair I claimed back the Vat element of the price, on basis that my is registered disabled.and sent the formal declaration form with her disabled registration reference number to Amazon. The seller WHEELCHAIR88UK claims that the total price quoted on the Amazon website was VAT zero rated and that no Vat refund was due.
I understood that all vateable goods sold in the UK must have the 20% VAT element included in the price,is this true? If so then the total price must mean it includes the Vat, not that excludes VAT.
Question what should my next action be?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

The item is not zero rated, but is exempt from VAT, a slightly different thing, but the effect on the customer is the same; there is no VAT charged on the item. Here is the relevant guidance from Equipment for the Physically Challenged:

'Goods qualify for VAT exemption if they are designed solely for use by a disable person. Some examples of qualifying products are as follows:

  • Everyday wheelchairs & Powerchairs'

Not all goods sold in the UK have VAT added at the standard rate (20%). There are reduced rate [eg gas and electricity] and zero rated items also as well as goods which are exempt from VAT.

I regret that there is nothing that you can do in respect of this purchase as VAT has quite correctly not been charged.

I am so sorry to have to rain on your parade.

bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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Expert:  bigduckontax replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your support.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** situation was confused by the following.:-
I thought that as Amazon, has Terms and Conditions rule that all goods sold on their website are inclusive of VAT and the goods advertised were as total costs. The seller (Wheelchair88UK) also has another agent in the UK, selling exactly the same chair called Foldawheel. This company called CARECO ,advertise the chair,showing the price with VAT Relief and the total RRP price VAT inclusive. I feel that Amazon pricing is deceptive, as it lead me to believe I could achieve a VAT refund.
What is my position. Is it a case of Sale of Goods Act ? ie miss representing the price by not showing that it was with VAT relieve.
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 9 months ago.

Frankly, I do not think you have a leg to stand on. As I told you the item is exempt from VAT. Even if Amazon did misrepresent the price which I doubt, I would draw your attention to the following disclaimer in their terms and conditions viz:

'Despite our best efforts, a small number of the items in our catalogue may be mispriced. We will verify pricing when processing your order and before we take payment. If we have made a mistake and a product's correct price is higher than the price on the website, we may either contact you before dispatch to request whether you want to buy the product at the correct price or cancel your order. If a product's correct price is lower than our stated price, we will charge the lower amount and send you the product.'

Should there be some misunderstanding they would be entitled to the benefit of this wording.

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