I've scoured the internet but not really found an answer to this. In the UK those of us with a registered disability do not need to pay the 20 % VAT at point of sale for specially designed equipment that meets the needs of our disability. In my case, talking scales, for example, o in the case of someone partially sighted, a magnifier.
The interesting thing on the HMRC page found here:
In section 4.6 states:
4.6 Computer devices and other electronic devices
Computer devices and systems are increasingly being used as aids to disability. Most are general use products which may be useful for disabled people but are designed to be used by disabled and non-disabled people alike.
Such products can only be bought VAT free when they’re sold as part of an assistive technology system.
Assistive technology involves the pre-installation of specialist software which is specifically required by the disabled individual. Where such a purchase is made, the complete system will be defined as designed solely for use by that disabled person, and will be eligible for the relief.
... Me again...
Looking around it would seem certain points of sale for apple are aware of this and do offer the 0 % vat option where as others do not.
Now I'm unsure how this works. It would seem that if I were to purchase a windows machine and have jaws installed, this would meet the criteria. the problem with apple stems from voiceover being part of all of its operating systems, off the shelf, as it were.
It seems to be a question of is an apple device an assistive device, I certainly think so when using seeing AI on my iPhone, accessing the internet with voiceover or listening to audio description on my apple TV.
This grey area seems to evaporate when looking at windows machines as long as you have a 3rd party screenreader such as jaws installed... Which seems inconsistent.
Anyone in the UK, are you aware of this? Do you know if apple does offer this option or not?
As with many disabled people, our income is usually lower than that of sighted peers. Apple has created an excellent set of tools for us to access the word, email, internet, the local environment, etc, replacing specially made assistive devices and, in many ways, crushing that market with its dominance.
It boils down to this, in the eyes of the HMRC, is an apple device running voiceover considered and assistive technology system and, if so, does apple offer this 0 % VAT at point of purchase?
Note: From exploring this topic on other less friendly forums there does seem to be a kickback at anyone getting a discount of any kind based on their situation, whether it is ability wise or geographic location. My intention is not to create an argument of whether this should or should not exist, I merely want to know if it does exist and if it is something that those of us in the UK have access to.