How does VAT exemption work?

A person who is registered blind or partially sighted is able to purchase their low vision aids without VAT being added. Whether you are eligible for VAT exemption will be determined by the regulations from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

HMRC states that “Customers with a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon their ability to carry out everyday activities” will be eligible for zero-rated VAT: 

i. providing that the goods are for their personal or domestic use and

ii. the goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate. Low vision aids are included in the outline given under:

a. spectacle mounted low vision aids which are custom made to the prescription of a qualified optician where the prescription identifies the appliance as a low vision aid; and
 
b. other low vision aids including technical aids for reading and writing, which are designed exclusively for visually impaired people, for example, closed circuit video magnification equipment capable of magnifying text and images.

The registration process would have been completed by your Consultant Ophthalmologist at your hospital.

How do I purchase items without paying VAT?

To purchase items at zero-rate VAT from Vision Enhancers two steps need to be taken:

1. A VAT Relief form needs to be completed, signed and returned to us by post or email. We need to keep this on file to confirm your eligibility for HM Revenue and Customs.

2. An account needs to be set up on our system. You can create an account by clicking "My Account" at the top of this page and then "Create an Account" normal. If you need help with this you can also send us an email at support@visionenhancers.co.uk and we'll create one for you. Once the VAT Relief form has been received we will be able to set your account up for VAT exemption. You will then be able to place orders online without the VAT being included.

If you are in any doubt as to whether you are eligible to receive goods or services zero-rated for VAT you should consult Notice 701/7 VAT reliefs for disabled people available from HMRC or contact their National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000 before signing the declaration.