VAT refunds on aids and appliances used by people with disabilities

Introduction

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. People with physical or mental disabilities can avail of these refunds.

A refund may also be available to someone who pays for aids and appliances that are for the exclusive use of someone else who has a disability.

This scheme of VAT refunds on aids and appliances can 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.

The scheme does not apply if you have not been charged VAT on your purchase. For example, wheelchairs are zero-rated for VAT.

Rules

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. Revenue may ask for medical evidence of your disability.

VAT refunds are not allowed on services or on the rental of aids and appliances.

To claim a VAT refund you must:

  • Live in Ireland
  • Have a disability
  • Need the aid or appliance to help with daily activities

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, the purchaser must not get the goods from their own business.

Examples of eligible aids and appliances include:

  • Domestic aids, for example, eating and drinking aids
  • Walk-in baths
  • Commode chairs
  • Lifting seats and specified chairs
  • Braille books
  • Hoists and lifts, including stair lifts
  • Communication aids

More information on how to reclaim VAT on aids and appliances for people with disabilities can be found on revenue.ie.

Housing adaptations

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.

Buying and adapting a vehicle

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.

How to apply

You can apply online using eRepayments in Revenue's myAccount service.

You can also apply by completing form VAT61a (pdf) and returning it to Revenue's Central Repayments Office (see 'Where to apply' below).

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 bought the aid or appliance. Taxable periods within each year are:

  • January/February
  • March/April
  • May/June
  • July/August
  • September/October
  • November/December

For example, if you want to claim in respect of an invoice issued in January 2018, you must make your claim no later than February 2021.

Where to apply

For more information or to claim a refund on an aid or appliance contact:

Central Repayments Office

Office of the Revenue Commissioners

M: TEK II Building
Armagh Road
Monaghan
Ireland

Tel: 047 62 100
Page edited: 22 March 2020