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VAT penalty on tall/big kids

(27 Posts)
norfolkdumpling Thu 07-Aug-08 15:32:37

I didn't know until today whilst shopping for my son's new school uniform that VAT will be added on clothes for children who take 13 years and older sizes.

Don't get me wrong, DS1 is only 6 but the trousers I had to buy him to cover his ankles were sized for an 8 year old. He's always been tall but it bothers me that his generation will be the first to have to stay at school until 18 (once the new legislation goes through) and we'll have to pay VAT for 5 more years. This stupid VAT rule was fine for when my father's generation had to leave school at age 14.

Is anybody up for a big campaign to persuade the government that the rule should be changed (I'm in a fighting mood because we recently lost the fight to keep open our local school)?

jammi Thu 07-Aug-08 19:07:44

Message withdrawn

Shitehawk Thu 07-Aug-08 19:13:37

Dd is 7, very tall, and in age 11 clothes already; I suspect I'll be paying VAT by the time she's 8.

I have never come across 13 as being the age limit before; am surprised. And as an aside it won't have anything to do with your father's generation leaving school at 14; as far as I remember VAT wasn't introduced here until the 70s so no excuse for it affecting such young children that I can see.

QOD Thu 07-Aug-08 19:21:45

My dd is size 2.5 in shoes, so, if I try/buy cheaper shoe shop shoes they often stop at 2. Like shoe zone, black suedette type boots £12.99 up to size 2, adult section, identical boots from size 3 £19.99

Fake crocs up to size 2 - £1.99
" " from size 3 -£4.99

she's 9 ffs!

She is in age 11 tops, 10 to 11 trews

blackcoffeenosugar Thu 07-Aug-08 19:23:44

DS2 is 9 and has size 7 adult feet!! have just bought him age 13 trousers and polo shirts for school.. this is silly!

christywhisty Thu 07-Aug-08 19:42:49

DS is 12 in size 15/16 clothes and size 9 feet. He is tall and thin and I have found things like blazers don't necessary get much longer when the size goes up just wider.

cornsilk Thu 07-Aug-08 19:45:15

Totally unfair. Specially when dinky women can save ££££ shopping in the kiddies section.

TheCrackFox Thu 07-Aug-08 19:47:31

I think the they should scrap the VAT and give an extra £200 per year per child via child benifit. It is very unfair. I am 5ft 9 and have been wearing adult clothes since I was 11/12.

norfolkdumpling Thu 07-Aug-08 19:54:36

I thought this would affect more people than just me and my friends.

I'm going to draft a letter this weekend and send it to my MP. Would anyone else do the same?

Freckle Thu 07-Aug-08 20:08:14

Be warned - it is not just tall children who will suffer. Most high street stores stop manufacturing clothing for children at age 12-13. Occasionally you can get stuff for 14 years.

And it's not just clothes. Every company seems to be able to decide at what age they consider a customer to be a child or adult. I've had DS2 (12) charged as an adult and any other age above that is potentially deemed to be an adult. If you are going to lobby the government, persuade them to pass a law to state that anyone under the age of majority (if they are in full-time education) must be deemed a child and charged as such. I don't understand how we have an age at which the law states a person is a child or an adult but any company/organisation can choose an age which suits their finances.

Califrau Thu 07-Aug-08 20:10:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dmo Thu 07-Aug-08 20:30:13

my ds's are opp
ds1 is 12 and wears age 13/14 clothes has size 7.5 shoes and was classed as an adult today for the Dr who museum

ds2 is nearly 11 (next week) and wears age 6/7 clothes and takes size 1 shoe and can get in loads of places as a under 7 grin

you would never believe they were 14 mths apart

herbietea Thu 07-Aug-08 20:38:36

Message withdrawn

OldGregg Thu 07-Aug-08 20:48:21

I'm drowning in work, children, babies and livestock but if anyone would be kind enough to post their draft letter to MP on here, then I'll print & send it.

DD1 is 6 and takes a size 1 shoe. So I'll probably be paying VAT on her enormous clown shoes grown-up shoes within the next 2 years.

fizzbuzz Thu 07-Aug-08 20:54:15

Ds at 12 took a size 10 shoe, and had a 32" leg.

I think it's outrageous as well, and totally agree with crap about different ages for different things.

Ds now 14, is 1/2 fare on bus, but full fare on plane and has been since 12 (I think). I think he is full price in cinema as well angry

catsmother Thu 07-Aug-08 20:59:06

My 4 year old daughter is tall for her age and I usually have to buy stuff at least 1, but usually 2, years older than she is. So, although she hasn't even started reception yet, some of her clothes are aged 6-7. No doubt I will be paying extra for a couple of years longer than "regular" sized kids whose age is the same as the clothes they wear.

I completely agree with Freckle as well. The definition of "child" seems to be pretty much whatever an individual attraction, business or service provider wants it to be. (In particular, for package holidays ..... though I suppose that's a whole other thread in itself).

squilly Thu 07-Aug-08 22:34:12

If someone will be kind enough to post the letter on here, so I can cut & paste it, I'll be contacting my MP. DD is now size 33 (size 1.5?) in shoes and is only 7. She's also tall for her age so will doubtless be paying VAT on shoes and clothes way before 16. It's not fair that her diddy friend probably won't EVER pay VAT on her shoes.

I'm 5ft11 and have also been in adult shoes for much longer than the average child.

It's definitely unfair!

norfolkdumpling Fri 08-Aug-08 20:30:51

Some great additions to this post. I hadn't even considered the unfairness of commercial decisions on what age constitutes being a 'child' (probably due to the fact both my kids are under the age of 11 and I also can't remember the last time I had a foreign holiday).

For now I'm going to concentrate on writing to my MP about VAT but I'll support anyone else who wants to tackle the definition of a 'child' commercially.

I'll post my letter when I'm happy with it so that you can cut and paste at leisure.

norfolkdumpling Mon 11-Aug-08 20:35:12

Here's the letter as promised (for anyone to cut and paste). If anyone has any better suggestions for the letter let me know (I don't proclaim to be any good at letter writing).

Oh and here's a good website for finding out who your MP is (you can send them an e-mail direct from this site, which is what I've done)

Here's the letter:
Re: The addition of VAT to childrens’ clothing

I am writing to you to point out the unfairness of the VAT rules on childrens’ clothing. I understand that at present VAT must be added to garments for children aged 14 years and older. After talking to my friends and sounding people out on I have found that many people feel they are penalised for having taller/larger than average children. For instance, my eldest son has been off the scale of his growth charts since birth. Currently I have to dress him in clothes sized for children at least two years older (he is not obese, simply much, much taller than average). By the time he is in his last year at primary school I will have to start paying VAT on his clothes. This is also unfair as he will be dependent on me until he can leave school at the age of 18 (assuming the Education and Skills Bill is passed to raise the school leaving age).

Our children are generally becoming taller/larger because of improved nutrition. It is manifestly wrong to penalise parents of well-cared for children with the current VAT rate. Children are penalised in many other ways commercially due to the varying ways companies can define a child. It would be comforting to know that our Government took the age of childhood seriously and decided that a child is a child whilst being dependent upon its parents (and that children’s clothes are still not luxury items).

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter and hope that you feel able to raise it with the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely

BellaDonna79 Mon 11-Aug-08 23:54:16

it's annoying but it works both ways, why should a size 4/6/8 pair of trousers cost the same as a size 16/18/20 when obviously there is much more fabric in a size 18 than a size 6? I agree school uniform should be vat free but for things like crocs I think that's just life.

norfolkdumpling Tue 12-Aug-08 21:29:18

I agree that there is more fabric used in larger sizes but VAT is charged at a flat rate of 17.5% on whatever cost the manufacturer charges for the different sizes. It's an unfair tax on finished products not a fair way of distributing costs of manufacturing. VAT stands for Value Added Tax. It means it is a tax on luxury goods. Children's clothes have never been considered luxury goods. My main point is that children in this country are, generally, becoming taller/larger so the cut off point for the addition of VAT is non-sensical in this day and age. It needs to be raised.

christywhisty Tue 12-Aug-08 21:43:27

Even if it's just uniform clothes it would make a difference. No adult would wear school uniform, so it's not as if a small adult would be buying a blazer for themselves.

branflake81 Wed 13-Aug-08 07:45:27

norfolkdumpling - hate to be a pedant but if you're going to send it you need to change the apostrophe to "children's"

am writing to you to point out the unfairness of the VAT rules on childrens? clothing

norfolkdumpling Thu 14-Aug-08 14:01:52

You're not a pedant at all, you're my ace spell checker! Thank you.

norfolkdumpling Fri 15-Aug-08 09:42:59

Not unsurprisingly (as the MPs are on the summer hols too), I've received an automated reply from my MP that she'll be in touch when she returns to work. I'll keep you posted. If anyone else has written let us all know the outcome here.


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