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VAT concession under threat

VAT concession under threat

Increasing numbers of disabled users are missing out on valuable VAT exemptions as the tax authorities fail to take account of changing technology.

Traditionally, the central processing units (CPUs) of computers have been zero rated for VAT, giving disabled users a 20% reduction in the cost of assistive technology. Both desktops and laptops are treated in this way.

However, in recent cases HM Revenue and Customs has ruled that phones and tablets do not have CPUs and therefore do not qualify for the VAT concession.

BATA says this policy has the effect of revoking the VAT relief for most of the technologies that are actually important to disabled people today, including the computing devices, the software and some of the services that they most rely on.

The zero VAT rate is not only a vital benefit for disabled people, but also helps foster the UK assistive technology industry. We intend to challenge the ruling at tribunals and at a national policy level.