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That Zero VAT children shoes need to catch up with the size of kids feet

(89 Posts)
Hopeforever Fri 22-Feb-13 09:44:57

Hooping that venting my frustration on here will save me venting in front of my DD as we struggle to find shoes that fit her, are age appropriate and VAT free

She is 10, the height of a 13 year old, 4 out of the 12 girls in her class are the same height as her.

But it's the shoes that really get me, she is size 6 1/2. Not suprising when mine are size 8 and I was that size by the time I was 13 over 30 years ago. So it's not a new thing even!

Yesterday I tried to find her some basic trainers. Most sports shops stopped at size 5. Clarks had just one style for her to chose, thankfully they fit.

Returning home I've looked at Clarks girls shoes web site and the only options on there for her are basic black school shoes (thankfully they go beyond her size) and one pair of trainers. Nothing else.

AIBU to think that as childrens feet sizes have grown over the last few decades, that the VAT rules should keep up?

On a positive note, the ladies in Clarks were lovely, an elderly lady was trying in kids trainers and they were so lovely to her, really thoughtful and caring.

merrymouse Sat 09-Mar-13 14:54:00

Checked guidelines. If it can be shown that shoe is designed exclusively for under 14's then hmrc may agree to zero rate. Therefore Clarks could design size 6 shoes for children and zero rate them. Unfortunately there might be design issues - suspect a shoe that would fit the guidelines would not be that popular with 'Tweens'.

On the other hand, weirdly, girls clothes can go up to 28 inch waist and still be zero rated.

Want2bSupermum Sat 23-Feb-13 05:36:20

Here in NJ, USA they have a sales tax (VAT) free week in August when all the parents go out and stock up on school supplies such as backpacks, lunchboxes and stationary.

Shoes and clothes are exempt from sales tax if they cost less than $200. I think this is a great idea. Shoes and clothes are a necessity for adults and children. The limit of $200 is reasonable. If you can afford to spend more than this on an item of clothing you can afford the sales tax.

Lora1982 Sat 23-Feb-13 05:24:18

Tesco go upto size 8!

sashh Sat 23-Feb-13 03:16:42

Maybe you should be able to claim it back like you can for items necessary for a disabled person's use.

So I can claim back the VAT on a walking stick because I need to use one, but if I was just buying it as a fashion accessory I can't.

I'm a size 5 and the shoes I wear day to day are boys school shoes or DMs - both bought without the VAT.

defineme Fri 22-Feb-13 22:24:47

I'm 38 with size 8 feet and it was always crap-some shops still don't do size 42. I have friends with size 8 and 7 feet and we're not freaks, just generally over 5ft9.
Ds1 is 10, 5ft1 and in size 7 G -one pair of clarks trainers available (which were cheap) and school shoes (which were not).
Ds2 is 8 and a size 3 E width so he had the one pair of clarks school shoes in that size.
Dd1 is 8 and size 1 but an H width so she had the one pair of school shoes in that size.

Oh for children with bog standard F width feet that I could nip into next or somewhere and get a cheap pair of shoes.

dayshiftdoris Fri 22-Feb-13 22:24:28


When it comes to flat boots, trainers and sandals then yes a lot of the time she buys from the children ranges.

She also buys a lot of children's clothes - Age 13-14 in jeans fit her and hoodies, cardigans, etc
(Though to be fair age 13-14 hoodies fit me too)

We are a small / petite family... apart from my giant son who is already nearly taller than me!!

5madthings Fri 22-Feb-13 22:13:32

My parents always insisted on well fitting shoes, I hated that as a teen,m but now I am grateful!

Hopeforever Fri 22-Feb-13 22:11:57

Well said 5madthings

I want my DD to have decent healthy feet when she is older. I'm do thankful my mum looked after my feet. I'll give her credit for her diligence there

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 22:11:19

Does she buy shoes from a children's range, then? Cos I'm pretty sure an adult range that goes down to a 3 attracts VAT all the way down.

dayshiftdoris Fri 22-Feb-13 21:52:24

My son is 8 and is a size 5...

I wish I could get him 'cheaper' shoes but he has a wide fit AND a high instep... last time he needed trainers we tried a dozen pairs in Sports Direct and he couldnt even get his foot in even one pair... even the size up.
Couple that with a sensory issue relating to how shoes 'feel' due to ASD... well more than once I have wondered if shoes are really necessary hmm

So we go to Clarks... I hate Clarks shoes but I have no choice though I has become absolutely excellent at spotting a random wider style in supermarkets... his current trainers are Asda £13 ones but this happens very rarely.

And soon we will pay VAT too... DEEP JOY... I do not feel it's fair that I will pay VAT on his shoes for my 9yr old when my 42yr old sister (who is a size 3) does not pay VAT on her shoes!!

quoteunquote Fri 22-Feb-13 21:47:15

dd age 9, has size 5
ds age 11, has size 9
ds had size 13, at age 13,

we are a tall family,

I spend a small fortune on shoes, and end up paying vat before they are even in the last year of primary school, as did both DH and my parents, tall people pay more.

my friend who has size 3 feet and he DH has size 5, all of her children have tiny feet, very small family,

the only way to make it fair is put VAT on all shoes except baby shoes, and find another way to get money back in parents pockets.

Karoleann Fri 22-Feb-13 21:12:30

My 6 year old wears size 4, galling isn't it.

I think at least school type shoes should be vat exempt

5madthings Fri 22-Feb-13 21:06:41

Because fredgeorge i want my children to have well fitting shoes with natural materials that let their feet breathe and because they have wide feet with a high instep and cheap shoes simply dont fit. Even getting european ones like ricosta or geox we dont get much choice.

FredFredGeorge Fri 22-Feb-13 20:48:47

If the argument is that kids grow so fast they need new shoes regularly - then why do you buy such expensive shoes as clarks? Just buying something cheaper then the VAT won't be as relevant?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 19:51:46

X post with daughteroflilith

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 19:34:14

But school shoes for ages 10-14 aren't really the old mary Janes with a buckle and a 0.5in heel - they are more like sturdy ballerina pumps with a cross foot strap.

Hopeforever Fri 22-Feb-13 19:25:20

DS aged 13 is a 9. I'm slightly more accepting that he's reaching the end of kids shoes.

It's obvious that having the cut off at 5.5 is not working. There must be a better solution so that adults don't get cheaper shoes than a ten year old

Daughteroflilith Fri 22-Feb-13 18:57:38

Well, I'm a size 4, hate heels, and most of my shoes are ballet pump styles, so I do well in the children's section! smile

Scholes34, I'm not sure how your idea would work. Do you mean you would put VAT on "unsuitable" clothes that make children look old beyond their years, or just keep VAT relief for clothes that an adult wouldn't want to wear? There are plenty of things like plain denim jeans; a black T shirt; a plain purple jumper etc that would not be obviously childish but might be staples of a girl's wardrobe. A small adult might buy them, too.

I can quite understand why you would want a leopard print mini skirt for an 11 year old classified as adult, but if you would only exempt obviously childish clothes, poorer kids are going to be kitted out entirely in glittery stuff and things with pictures of kittens on!

PeggyCarter Fri 22-Feb-13 18:53:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 22-Feb-13 18:47:40

I'm a 4 too!

I guess that's why I see the issue with overlap.

5madthings Fri 22-Feb-13 18:45:15

Yes vat on uniform is shite i have the same with ds1 who is 13 and its a school blazer with the soddin school badge on it!

DeWe Fri 22-Feb-13 18:40:13

I am a size 4.5-5 and I buy kids shoes often. In fact I rarely buy adult shoes.

I was surprised in M&S the other day to see the boys shoes went up to size 8. Dh is only an 9, and he's not small.

Remotecontrolduck Fri 22-Feb-13 18:33:38

5madthings phew, I'm not alone then!

Slightly different but still same gripe, what's with the VAT on school uniforms bigger than age 12-13 (or about that)? When DD was at school, as soon as she needed a bigger blazer from the special schoolwear shop age 14, it had tax applied? Wtf? What adult would possibly want a logoed regulation school blazer? That is obviously made for a child as it was worn by 11-16 year olds only...

That is something that needs sorting out.

5madthings Fri 22-Feb-13 18:25:26

remote i am a size 4 smile

Remotecontrolduck Fri 22-Feb-13 18:16:08

Wow my feet are abnormally tiny looking at this thread, i'm 4 1/2!

I dont think they should waive the VAT for all 'kids' sizes, but certainly for all school shoes and glittery trainers etc, things that an adult isn't likely to want!

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