Temporary zero VAT on PPE

To benefit organisations that are not VAT registered, HM Revenue & Customs has announced that the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be zero-rated for VAT for three months from May 1 until July 31, 2020.

Under current UK VAT law, the standard rate of VAT (20%) applies to the sale of PPE. However, the EU Commission has recently indicated support for temporary VAT reliefs (including zero-rates) directly linked to the efforts being undertaken to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This means the UK now has more scope to review the VAT treatment of these supplies.

The temporary VAT zero rate will apply to all supplies of PPE, which are made between May 1 and July 31, and which are recommended for use by Public Health England in its guidance dated April 24, 2020 titled: ‘Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)’. This includes supplies made from existing stock.

Products covered by the zero rate include:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable plastic aprons
  • Disposable fluid-resistant coveralls or gowns
  • Surgical masks – including fluid-resistant type IIR surgical masks
  • Filtering face piece respirators
  • Eye and face protection – including single or reusable full-face visors or goggles.