Font Size

Revenue and Customs Brief 14 (2020) opticians and sellers of hearing aids changes for VAT

 By

HM Revenue and Customs -Tax Authorities

Tax Articles
Submit Articles   Back to Articles

Published 23 September 2020

Changes to the methods used by opticians and sellers of hearing aids to account for VAT on their supplies

1. Purpose of this brief

This brief tells you about simplifications to the processes used by opticians and dispensers of hearing aids to account for VAT on their supplies. The changes will take effect from 1 October 2020.

2. Who should read this brief

VAT-registered opticians who dispense spectacles or contact lenses to their customers and VAT-registered sellers of hearing aids.

3. Background

Opticians that dispense spectacles or contact lenses to their customers make two supplies for VAT purposes: the spectacles or lenses themselves, which are taxable at the standard rate, and a supply of dispensing services, which is exempt from VAT. Similarly, dispensers of hearing aids make a taxable supply of hearing aids and an exempt supply of dispensing services.

To account for VAT on the taxable element of their sales, opticians and hearing aid dispensers may either:

  • use separately disclosed charges for each supply, notifying each separate charge to the customer at the time of sale
  • charge a single price to the customer and make a fair and reasonable apportionment of the income between the taxable and exempt elements of the supply, using a method of their choice, which must be approved by HMRC

4. Changes

From 1 October 2020, the processes will be simplified.

There is currently no uniform standard of evidence required from businesses to show that they are making separately disclosed charges. Businesses will be required only to hold a till slip or similar evidence to demonstrate that they are making two separate charges to the customer at the time of supply, and that this information is being conveyed to the customer.

Those using a method of apportionment will no longer have to seek prior approval from HMRC before operating a method. This will bring opticians and dispensers of hearing aids into line with other businesses that apportion VAT on their sales.

5. Guidance

HMRC’s guidance manuals will be updated to reflect these changes from 1 October 2020.

About the Author

© Crown Copyright 2020.

A licence is needed to reproduce this article and has been republished for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by permission of HM Revenue & Customs.



Follow us @Scopulus_News

Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2020-09-23 15:34:21 in Tax Articles

All Articles

Copyright © 2004-2020 Scopulus Limited. All rights reserved.