Can You Claim Back VAT On Tools?

If you are wondering whether or not you can claim back VAT on tools purchased for business, you will find the answer to your question in the following blog post; as well as information regarding the difference in approach towards employees and businesses, tools that are included in a VAT refund and a review of the process for applying for a claim back on VAT on tools.

Can You Claim Back VAT On Tools?

Whether or not you can claim back VAT on tools depends on if you are a VAT-registered business or a VAT-registered sole trader versus being an employee (the business may or may not be VAT registered).

If you are a VAT-registered business or a VAT-registered sole trader, you can claim back VAT on tools; provided that your purchase meets the eligibility criteria for the tools in question.

However, to be a VAT-registered business that can claim back VAT on tools, you should be able to meet the following qualifying criteria:

  • the total VAT taxable turnover for your business in the last 12 months has been over £85,000; or 
  • you expect the turnover for your business to exceed £85,000 in the next 30 days

On the other hand, if you are an employee under the PAYE system, you do not qualify for claiming back VAT on the tools you purchase. 

In this case, you may only be able to claim a tax relief (called the tool tax rebate) on the tools you purchase for the necessary execution of your job; provided that your employer has not reimbursed the expense to you.

What Tools Can You Claim VAT Back On?

All tools that are purchased for the sole purpose of running a business qualify for a VAT refund. Some of the most popular tools that are purchased by different professions include the following:

  • Electricians: all tools such as wire strippers and pliers
  • Joiners and carpenters: think chisels to mallets
  • Chefs: kitchen tools such as knives
  • Hairdressers: scissors, combs, and other hair equipment
  • Mechanics: wrenches or hammers that don’t belong to the garage

How Can You Claim VAT Back On Tools?

As a VAT-registered business, you can claim back VAT on tools using the VAT Return form that you must submit to HMRC every three months (known as your business accounting period).

VAT Returns can be filed within 7 days after the end of your accounting period through either of the following ways:

You can submit your VAT Return:

  • using compatible accounting software
  • appointing an agent or accountant
  • using the VAT online account for your business

In either case, you should be able to provide evidence supporting your claim. This includes original receipts of purchases made; as well as VAT invoices.


The above discussion helps to conclude that VAT-registered businesses and VAT-registered sole traders can claim the VAT back on tools; however, it is essential for businesses and sole traders to first qualify for meeting the eligibility criteria for being a VAT-registered entity so that they can claim back VAT on tools.


Claim tax relief for your job expenses: Uniforms, work clothing and tools – GOV.UK

How to Claim a Tool Tax Rebate | Claim Tax Back on Tools – Brian Alfred

Can I Claim VAT Back on My Work Tools? – Tax Rebates