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Post Info TOPIC: Charity vat

Veteran Member

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Posts: 69
Charity vat


A client of mine fit out narrow boats and are about to fit out a boat for a charity. It is to be a boat suitable for disabled people, so what I can make out it can be vat free. However, from my clients point of view, are they ok to claim the vat on suppliers invoices to make this disabled boat, or do they have to inform suppliers that the goods are for a vat free boat so the suppliers shouldn't charge vat?

I hope that makes sense.

Thank-you for reading



Senior Member

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Posts: 183

Hi Nicola

The charity I work for has recently bought a boat for use by people in wheelchairs and the supply was zero rated.

The supplier provided a form for us to complete to confirm our/its eligibility.

This is what HMRC says :

You can zero rate the supply to an eligible customer of a boat which is designed or prior to supply or import is substantially and permanently adapted, for use by disabled persons or to carry disabled persons. To qualify for relief, a boat should include all or most of the following features:

a ramp for wheelchairs
lifts and level non cambered surfaces to accommodate wheelchair movements
specialised washing and lavatory facilities accessible to disabled people
specially equipped galley and sleeping areas and steering facilities designed for use by disabled people
wheelchair clamps
steering or other controls adapted for use by disabled people

The attached is the form we completed.

I don't see that the suppliers of the materials etc to make the boat can be zero rated because the goods are not being supplied to a disabled

person/charity - they are being supplied for business purposes (i.e. to your client to carry out his business).

Hope this helps.



Eunice Cubbage

Veteran Member

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Posts: 69

Hi Eunice,
Thank-you very much, that was extremely useful. I had seen the bit on the HMRC website, but hadn't found the form. What you said about the suppliers of the materials makes sense, I was thinking that but wanted to make sure it made sense.


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