If you live in Ireland and you have a disability, you may get a refund of Value-Added Tax (VAT) on certain special aids and appliances that you need. In some cases people who pay for aids and appliances that are for the exclusive use of a person with a disability can also claim the VAT refund. People with both physical and mental disabilities can avail of these refunds.
This scheme of VAT refunds on aids and appliances can also apply to adaptation and installation work being carried out to make a home more suitable for an older person or for a person with a disability – see ‘Housing adaptations’ below.
Under the Value-Added Tax (Refund of Tax) (No. 15) Order 1981, you can claim a VAT refund on aids and appliances that help you carry out daily activities at home or at work. You may need to produce medical evidence of your disability.
VAT refunds are not allowed on services for people with disabilities or on rented aids and appliances.
To claim a VAT refund you must:
The aid or appliance must be owned by the person with the disability and be for their exclusive use. If the VAT refund is being sought by someone other than the user of the aid or appliance, Revenue may ask for evidence that the aid is solely owned by the person with the disability and is for their sole use. In this case, these goods must not be supplied in the course of a business run by the purchaser of the goods.
Examples of eligible aids and appliances include:
Assist Ireland has information on a wide range of aids and appliances for people with disabilities.
If you are having your home improved or adapted to make it more accessible, you may be able to claim a refund of VAT paid on the cost of installation and adaptation work. You may also qualify for a grant, such as the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability, the Mobility Aids Grant Scheme or the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme. Read more about housing grants and schemes.
You can claim remission or repayment of vehicle registration tax (VRT), repayment of VAT on the purchase of a vehicle and repayment of VAT on the cost of adapting a vehicle, up to a maximum amount. You can find out more in our document on Tax relief for disabled drivers and passengers.
To apply for a VAT refund on aids and appliances, fill in claim form VAT 61A (pdf) .
You must attach supporting documentation with your claim - for example, original invoices for all the goods in the claim or, in the case of imported goods, receipts for VAT paid at importation. In the case of a hire purchase agreement, you will need to supply a copy of the agreement and the invoice.
You must make your claim within 4 years from the end of the taxable period in which you purchased the aid or appliance. Taxable periods within each year are:
For example, a claim made in respect of an invoice issued in January 2015 must be made no later than February 2018.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.