HMRC and RNIB tax advice service
RNIB has launched a new service with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), to support blind and partially sighted people with tax and benefit issues.
RNIB will work with HMRC and call customers to check they are getting the benefits, concessions and tax allowances they are entitled to, and to tell them about other services from RNIB and Action for Blind People.
We cover issues such as:
- Tax Credits
- Blind Person's Tax Allowance
- VAT exemption on adapted equipment
- Tax-free interest on savings
Blind Person's Allowance
If you are registered blind, or if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland and are unable to perform any work for which eyesight is essential, you can claim Blind Person's Allowance.
The Blind Person's Allowance is added to your tax-free Personal Allowance and increases the amount of income you can have each year before you start paying tax.
The Blind Person's Allowance for the tax year 2013–14 is £2,160. There are no age or income restrictions.
If you are 58, registered blind with your local authority and have an annual salary of £13,000, a Personal Allowance of £9,440, and Blind Person's Allowance of £2,160, then you only need to pay tax on £1,400 of your earnings. So that's your salary [£13,000], minus your two allowances combined [£9,440 + £2,160].
If you are on a low income, or you don't pay any tax, you can transfer the Blind Person's Allowance, or part of it, to your spouse or civil partner. This can be done whether or not they are blind. If both you and your spouse or civil partner qualify for the Blind Person's Allowance you can claim an allowance each.
How you claim Blind Person's Allowance
You have to claim the Blind Person's Allowance, it won’t be given automatically. To make a claim call HMRC on their priority telephone number: 0845 366 7887.
Lines are open from 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday, and 8.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays. You will need to know your National Insurance number.
You can ask HMRC to backdate your claim for up to four years but there is a time limit for claiming back tax.
Contact RNIB tax advice service
For more information on our tax advice service, call us on 0845 330 4897 or email RNIBHMRCfirstname.lastname@example.org
Download RNIB's factsheet for further information:
Contact Action for Blind People
You can contact us through the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or find out where your local Action for Blind People team is.