Do I have to pay VAT on items I buy if I'm blind or partially sighted?

Yes you will have to pay VAT for most of the day to day items you buy.

However, if the item has been specifically designed for people with a disability and you have a qualifying disability or long term illness then you should be able to buy the item without paying VAT. 

You can qualify for VAT exemption if:

  • you have a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to carry out everyday activities, eg blindness
  • you have a condition that’s treated as chronic sickness, like diabetes
  • you’re terminally ill.

For some companies, such as ourselves, buying products without paying VAT is straightforward, as we will quote prices with and without VAT for relevant items in our catalogues and on our online shop.

However, some companies may require you to fill out an exemption form that enables them to sell you an item without charging VAT, so you might want to check with them before making your purchase.

Further information, on tax advice and VAT can be found on our tax allowances and exemptions webpage and in our Tax advice for blind and partially sighted people and VAT relief factsheets:

You can also download a template of a declaration form which, if required, can be filled in and sent to companies when purchasing an eligible product:

If you require further information and advice contact our Helpline:


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