Medical or surgical nitrile gloves are finally confirmed by HMRC to be eligible equipment for medical research

Medical or surgical nitrile gloves are finally confirmed by HMRC to be eligible equipment for medical research
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Medical or surgical nitrile gloves are finally confirmed by HMRC to be eligible equipment for medical research

Ben Sunderland, Managing Director of Camlab and board member of Gambica (the Laboratory Industry trade representative) met with the HMRC policy team representing the Lab Technology VAT group, to discuss the problems that both suppliers and purchasers of medical and research goods and services are encountering due to changes made to the list of examples to the Notice on Zero rate VAT for charity funded equipment or services purchased for medical or veterinary research in 2018. 

 

After meeting with the policy body of HMRC, a methodology was agreed to reduce the ambiguity introduced by the recent changes and to change the format of wording in the main body of the Notice within the definitions provided by the VAT Act 1994.The most important foundation of these discussions was for HMRC to agree to let suppliers to allow zero rating where possible to enhance the impact of charitable funds.” This is important, as most research bodies are unable to reclaim VAT. This process has taken 4 years* to progress to a point where the new updated guidance has now been published by HMRC on October 6th, 2023. 

 

One of the most important changes made is to the definition of disposable Nitrile Gloves previously excluded in the old guidance. As this is one of the most regularly bought items used in medical research it provides a significant 20% cost saving for all UK research organisations, charities and Universities. Purchasing items using donated funds without the burden of VAT will now save many Millions of pounds each year which can be put to better use in advancing scientific knowledge to provide new treatments and cures that will shape the medicines of the future.

 

See below for the new allowable categories added to the list of examples used by HMRC.

Aprons, Cryogenic Laboratory glassware or plasticware
Batteries for eligible equipment (if bespoke) Laboratory ovens
Biosafety cabinets Masks, medical or surgical
Catchpots Microtomes
Cryostats Needles, suture
Furnace, laboratory Sinks, specialised laboratory
Scanner, MRI, CAT Gloves cryogenic
Spectrometers Gloves, medical or surgical
Scrubs Gloves, nitrile medical or surgical
Gowns, medical or surgical Test tube racks

*During the last 4 years the Gambica VAT group (Jacquleine Bailin, Lab Sector Head of Gambica, Ben Sunderland, Managing Director of Camlab and Louise Scattergood European Audit and Compliance Manager of ThermoFisher) consulted with representatives of the British Universities Finance Director group (BUFDG), Imperial College, Kings College London, UK Charities organisation. British Safety Industry Federation, British Standards Institute and Gavin Pick, Finance Director at Camlab.

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