From 1 November 2020, supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) revert to the standard 20% rate of VAT. 

  • The government had introduced a COVID-19: Temporary zero-rating for PPE on all supplies of  between 1 May and 31 October 2020.
  • As of 1 November 2020, the VAT rate reverts back to the standard rate.

The zero rate had applied to COVID-19 PPE, including:

  • Disposable gloves.
  • Disposable plastic aprons.
  • Disposable fluid-resistant coveralls or gowns.
  • Surgical masks, including fluid-resistant type IIR surgical masks.
  • Filtering face-piece respirators.
  • Eye and face protection, including single or reusable full-face visors or goggles.

The temporary change had applied 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.
  • Originally the temporary zero-rating was to 31 July 2020 however this was extended to 31 October in early July.


COVID-19: Employer-provided PPE and testing
HMRC have advised that if an employer provides employees working in COVID-19 high-risk environments with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and coronavirus tests it will not be a taxable Benefit In Kind.

COVID-19: Government support tracker
This tracker covers measures announced by the government to support individuals and businesses, as we get through COVID-19.

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)