coronavirus mask ppe

From today, the Treasury has applied a zero-rate of VAT to the sales of personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 until the 31st July 2020 after prime minister Boris Johnson hinted at a change to the government’s stance on face masks.

According to the Treasury, the decision to make PPE VAT-free will help save care homes, businesses, charities and individuals more than £100 million and comes after the removal of PPE import duty last month.

For those mobility retailers, suppliers and assistive technologies services providers, PPE plays a pivotal role in enabling companies to continue to provide vitally needed equipment and repairs whilst ensuring the safety of staff and customers.

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According to a statement by the government, it acted as soon as possible to bring the VAT exemption into force and highlighted that the UK is still bound to EU law governing the tax.

The removal of the tax comes as the EU recently permitted rules to be changed on an exceptional basis during the health emergency.

In addition, the government says it 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 removal of VAT comes as the prime minister Boris Johnson suggested in yesterday’s press briefing that face coverings will be “useful” when lockdown restrictions are eased to “give people confidence they can go back to work.”

Despite no exit strategy being disclosed as of yet by the government, Boris Johnson’s sentiments may suggest that, like in Spain and Italy, masks and perhaps other PPE could have a part to play as lockdown easements are introduced.

This may present a new sales opportunity for mobility retailers that have seen demand for their big-ticket ranges slow down.

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