The Government has decided to zero-rate VAT on essential personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes after charities and trade unions called for VAT on PPE to be scrapped. The Government hopes that this will ease the financial pressure that has been placed on care homes and charities, which have been drastically affected by COVID-19. Many care homes and charities have seen their income decline since the start of the pandemic. Although the NHS relies on the Government to provide the funds needed to fight coronavirus, most care homes have to rely on private funding to purchase the PPE needed to protect its staff and residents.

The Government has said that this measure will save charities, care homes, and anyone else that needs PPE £100 million. Normally PPE is subject to a 20% VAT charge and most care homes would not be able to reclaim this.

When does this come into effect?

This measure started on 1 May 2020 and will end on 31 July 2020.   

What is classed as PPE?

The following items are zero rated for VAT purposes:

  • Disposable and fluid resistant overalls and gowns
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable plastic aprons
  • Eye and face protection
  • Filtering face piece respirators
  • Fluid resistant (type IIR) surgical masks
  • Surgical masks

To find out more about this change, please visit the Government website here.  

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