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VAT zero rating on services carried out for a disabled customer

Q: My client is a central heating engineer and ordinarily installs new central heating systems into dwellings. A new central heating system has been installed in the personal residence of a disabled person. They are claiming this is eligible for zero rating and have issued a certificate to my client stating they are eligible for disabled relief from VAT. Is this correct?

A: Supplies of goods and services will only qualify for disabled zero rating when:

These conditions are discussed in more detail in paragraph 2.1 of VAT Notice 701/7. Essentially, in your client's scenario, the end customer appears to be eligible as they are declaring themselves as chronically sick or disabled; the goods are being installed in the customer’s home therefore the second condition is also met; however, the actual goods being installed themselves do not qualify for zero rating. Chapter 4 of Notice 701/7 explains what types of goods are eligible for the disabled zero rating and this is limited to goods specifically designed or adapted for disabled use purposes. It also does not qualify as eligible building services for the same reasons (as explained in paragraph 6.7 of the notice). Unfortunately it is not eligible for reduced-rating as energy saving materials either, even though some elements within the overall supply would qualify if supplied and installed on their own (e.g. thermostatic radiator valves) (see Notice 708/6 paragraph 2.3). Therefore your client must standard rate its charge for this project.