Making your home easier to live in when you have a disability is of upmost importance for your physical and mental wellbeing. Wet rooms are renowned for providing a safer, easily accessible bathroom solution in your own home. With no trip hazards or shower enclosures needed, wet rooms are wheelchair accessible, and also maximise the space so if assistance is required there is plenty of room to accommodate this.
To be able to create an accessible bathroom, support is at hand in the form of a Government VAT exemption scheme, to help you adapt your home to your needs.
Qualifying Bathroom Adaptions
If you require a new wet room (level access shower room) installed, extended or adapted within your own private residence, because of your disability then you do not have to pay VAT.
Currently VAT is 20%, therefore this exemption scheme can save you a significant amount of money.
The Government advises that bathroom adaption work which qualifies include:
- having a bath removed and replaced with a shower or walk-in bath if, because of your disability, you have difficulty getting in and out of a traditional bath
- having a bathroom installed on the ground floor if, because of your disability, you’re not able to get upstairs
- altering an existing bathroom to allow wheelchair access around the room
This VAT exemption also applies to any necessary preparation or restoration work if it’s directly related to the VAT-free work. For example, if you’re having your bathroom adapted to install a level access shower, the replacement of any porcelain goods that need taking out as a result of the new installation and any necessary re-tiling can also be VAT-free.
Who is eligible?
The Government states that if you are chronically sick or disabled and the building work’s being done in your own home you can qualify for VAT-free building work.
You do not need to be registered disabled or eligible for any other benefit to qualify for VAT-free building work but you must be chronically sick or disabled.
A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if they are a person with a:
- physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities.
- condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes.
Please note however, it does not include an elderly person who is not disabled or chronically sick or any person who’s only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.
How to claim
If you are using a VAT-registered contractor (builder, plumber or other trade) to carry out the bathroom adaptation, then they will pay VAT on the materials they buy and they can reclaim this VAT back from HMRC in the normal way. Your building contractor’s supply of the materials to you will be VAT-free.
Contractors not VAT registered
As contractors who are not VAT registered cannot reclaim the VAT on the materials they buy, they instead can help you arrange for the materials to be supplied VAT-free direct to you from a VAT-registered supplier, such as On The Level.
You’ll need to provide a copy of your eligibility declaration and evidence from your contractor that you’re paying them to do the eligible work for you.
Eligibility declaration information given to On The Level will be stored securely, and will remain confidential.
If you do the work yourself or a friend, neighbour or member of your family does the work for you free of charge unfortunately the materials cannot be bought VAT-free.
For more information visit the Government website, or give us a call on 01525373202 to discuss your wet room requirements.