In May, the UK Treasury Office removed VAT charges on PPE due to the COVID-19 outbreak, requiring health workers and the general public to stock-up and wear face masks.
The government recognised the importance of wearing face masks to limit the spread of the virus and save lives. The public is required by law to wear face masks when in shops and other inside public spaces.
The VAT exemption was extended in August but now the decision has been taken to end the PPE exemption. This will mean that from November, PPE and face masks will become 20% more expensive as the general rate of VAT is applied. The tax exemption reportedly cost the UK Treasury £85 million per month.
A Treasury spokesman said: “Our temporary zero-rate of VAT on PPE was designed to help sectors that cannot recover VAT on such goods due to their VAT exempt status, such as care homes.
“We have committed in the Winter Plan to provide free PPE for Covid-19 need to adult social care until March 2021 through their stockpile, ensuring a stable supply of PPE. The temporary zero-rate on PPE is therefore no longer required.
“The relief was to ensure front line workers got the protection they needed and that remains our priority.”
PPE (personal protective equipment) are life savings products that equip users with the correct level of protection against the risks they face.
To learn more about the advice from Sage regarding face coverings, click here
Read more about the PPE tax exemption here