(Please note: This article is presented for information purposes only. Please seek expert tax advice before carrying out any home improvements. All information supplied directly by HMRC and correct as of 26/11/12)The government imposes a zero VAT rating on certain home improvements made to adisabled person's home”. These improvements must be deemed to be designed to provide a better quality of life to the disabled person in a way that specifically relates to their disability or impairment.The government makes a vital distinction between a disabled person and a person with a mobility impairment. The zero VAT rating is applied to certain improvements on the homes of people suffering fromphysical or mental impairment that has a considerable and long term effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities”, or someone who suffers from a condition deemed to be achronic sickness” or a terminal illness.The zero VAT rating is not applied to improvements made on the homes of people who areelderly or frail” and not suffering from any of the above conditions. The zero VAT rating is also not applied to people whose mobility impairment is classed as temporary.For those who do qualify for zero VAT ratings on home improvements, this VAT rate can be applied to the building of a ramp, the widening of passageways, doors, rooms through which another room is accessed, or a garden path.The HMRC elaborates onbuilding a ramp”: under their rules, the building of a ramp includes work done to raise the level of one floor to match another floor so that steps can be removed, work to reduce the angle of a slope or to create another slope altogether.The installation of a lift can also be zero rated. A qualifying lift is classed asdesigned to help the disabled person move between the floors of their home”.Any necessary work done to make the bathroom of a qualifying disabled person more accessible is zero rated. This zero rating extends to bathrooms, shower rooms, washrooms (rooms with a toilet or washbasin) or outbuildings owned by the disabled person on their private property. If you are having further work done on your home at the same time, all further improvements not covered above are taxed at the standard rate of VAT.

By Help Mobility Team

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