The government has announced that sales of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect against COVID-19 will be zero-rated for VAT from 1 May 2020 until 31 October 2020.

Items such as disposable gloves, aprons and gowns, as well as surgical masks and eye and face protection, are standard- rated for VAT, despite a zero-rating applying to the supply of many healthcare products and many medical services being VAT exempt.

  • The temporary change applies to PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals.
  • It is expected to particularly benefit care providers, who are often unable to reclaim the 20% VAT incurred on PPE as they are fully or partially exempt businesses.
  • Originaly the temporary zero rating was to 31 July 2020 however this was extended to 31 October in early July.

Links

Health and welfare: VAT
Reduced rating, zero-rating and VAT exemption can apply to various services relating to medical care, health and welfare.

Partial exemption & input VAT
How do you calculate the amount of input tax you can recover under the VAT partial exemption rules? What are the de minimis rules?

External link

HMRC policy paper:  Revenue and Customs Brief 4 (2020): temporary VAT zero-rating of personal protective equipment (PPE) 

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I guess this partially offsets the massive price increases due to scarcity and global demand...

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