This emergency relief takes effect from Friday 1st of May 2020 to the 31st July 2020. Care providers, who are often unable to reclaim the 20% VAT they incur on their purchases, are in a position to benefit the most from this emergency measure.
VAT on essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for Covid-19 will be temporarily scrapped saving more than £100 million for care homes and businesses dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
PPE as defined by Public Health England’s coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE guidance on 24 April 2020 consists of the following:
- disposable gloves,
- disposable plastic aprons,
- disposable fluid-resistant coveralls or gowns,
- surgical masks (including fluid-resistant type IIR surgical masks),
- filtering face piece respirators, and
- eye and face protection (including single or reusable full face visors or goggles).
Ministers have already removed import duties from protective equipment imported for charitable and public bodies to assist the fight against Covid-19. This will ensure more essential equipment can get to the front line quicker.
The government has acted as soon as possible to bring the measure into force. EU law governing VAT – which the UK is bound to until the end of the transitional period – requires the UK to charge VAT on the equipment.
The government is acting under an exceptional basis allowed by EU rules during health emergencies. The European Commission recently indicated support for member states to introduce temporary VAT reliefs to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government is providing the NHS with the funding necessary to purchase PPE and has committed to providing extra funding to ensure the NHS has whatever it needs to tackle Covid-19.
The government has already acted to speed up PPE supply, harnessing the power of UK industry, scouring the world for new stocks, and creating a giant distribution network to send PPE to keyworkers around the country.
Please follow the link for the very latest guidance from the government across all areas including Business. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus