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Protective Clothing: VAT

Question for Treasury

UIN HL9618, tabled on 27 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money they estimate wll be raised through the imposition of value added tax on face masks and personal protective equipment.

Answered on

10 November 2020

On 1 May the Government introduced a temporary VAT zero rate on personal protective equipment (PPE) that meets the standard set out in guidance from Public Health England in order to ensure that affected sectors (such as hospitals and care homes) were able to have access to PPE as required. The Government has put in place new measures that will ensure the supply of PPE to these sectors from 1 November.

The zero rate therefore ended on 31 October (as legislated), and the costing of this measure will be subject to scrutiny by the Office for Budget Responsibility and will be set out at the next fiscal event.

An estimate of the revenue raised from VAT on other types of face masks or PPE that have never been subject to the zero rate is not available. HMRC do not hold information on VAT revenue from specific products or services because businesses are not required to provide figures at a product level in their VAT returns, as this would impose an excessive administrative burden.

In July, the Government announced in the Plan for Jobs additional expenditure of over £15 billion for PPE procurement.

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