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bigduckontax, Accountant
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I am elderly lady age 74years. Registered disabled as I have

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I am elderly lady age 74years. Registered disabled as I have great difficulty walking. I need new oil boiler as my present 12 year old one is belching black soot. I need new boiler and have had it temporarily repaired to give me warmth as I had developed severe chest infection being without heat for two weeks. I requested written quote for new boiler from the company who repaired it temporarily.
It totals £3,819. 54 this includes the boiler, additional pipes to fit it, labour and VAT which amounts to £636. 54!! I was horrified at this amount although all recent repairs have involved VAT and I have just paid it when the final bill arrived.
Is there a possibility of being exempt from VAT on this occasion? I am retired professional nurse and recall years ago being asked to sign a form for VAT exemption say for new shower and toilet to be fitted in a downstairs cloakroom for stroke patient who could no longer climb stairs and had bedroom now downstairs. Please advise me.
Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and happy to be able to help you with your question.
This is covered in VAT Notice 701/7. The relevant bit is below:
'Supplies to handicapped people
You can only zero rate supplies to handicapped people when:
•the person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’
•the goods or services are eligible for VAT relief - see Section 4
•the goods and services are purchased or acquired for their personal or domestic use - see paragraph 3.4
3.2.1 What does ‘chronically sick or disabled’ mean?
A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person with a:
•physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon his/her ability to carry out everyday activities
•condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes
It doesn’t include an elderly person who’s not disabled or chronically sick or any person who’s only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a bro***** *****mb.
If a parent, spouse or guardian acts on behalf of a ‘chronically sick or disabled’ person, your supply is treated as being made to that ‘chronically sick or disabled’ person.
HMRC can’t offer any specific advice about whether or not any particular individual customer is chronically sick or disabled. See paragraph 3.6 and paragraph 3.9 for further information about customer eligibility.'
Now in any event you cannot be exempt from VAT, I am splitting hairs. You may, if your disability conforms to VAT Notice 701/7, get the works zero rated ie subject to VAT, but at 0% which is effectively the same thing. You may need to peruse the whole Notice. A wet towel round the head an a quiet afternoon is an essential requisite.
The zero rating is in the hands of the contractor who undertook the work for you; you have to get them to issue a zero rated invoice initially or amend their existing one.
I am so sorry to have to throw some of the work back on to you. Unfortunately the onus is on you to prove the level of disability which will attract a zero rating.
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Thank you for your support.