Petition calling for VAT on items of uniform carrying a school badge to be abolished, delivered by Trutex to Chancellor
It may come as a surprise to you that VAT is applied to some items of school uniform! Kitting out children with school uniform is a major expense for most parents especially at the beginning of the school year so suggestions of ways reducing that cost are most welcome.
Over 4,500 people signed a petition challenging The Chancellor, Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, to abolish VAT on all items of school uniform that carry a school badge has been presented to Downing Street by five children with Daniel Tomlinson of Trutex, the well-known school-wear brand.
Currently in schools that cater exclusively for pupils under 14 (primary and middle schools) zero-rating is applied on garments featuring a prominent badge or piping in school colours regardless of garment size. However, within standard secondary schools (ages 11 to 16), schoolwear is subject to the normal rules1 for children’s clothes - the full rate VAT (17.5 per cent) is applied to all garments above the standard size of a child aged 14 years.
According to a national survey of parents with children aged between nine and 16 years, commissioned by Trutex, 90 per cent feel VAT should not be payable on school uniform and the same percentage feel that VAT should not be payable on badged or school specific items of clothing.
Trutex is calling for the reclassification of school-wear, which could potentially see the removal of VAT on all school specific clothes ranging from blazers, blouses and knitwear to sportswear, encompassing the full size spectrum from age three to size XXXL.
While Trutex accepts that unbadged school uniform in adult sizes such as a plain white shirt, can be used for other purposes, a garment featuring a school logo, crest or piping in school colours, can only be used for its intended purpose.
Commenting on the petition and the new research findings, Clare Rix, Trutex Marketing Director said:
“If the government really is serious about reducing the cost of school uniform for parents, then this is an ideal opportunity for them to demonstrate their intentions.”
“As a school-wear supplier, we have driven this campaign in an attempt to make school uniform more affordable for parents and hope that it will go some way to support schools that are keen to create a strong identity and sense of pride by badging/branding specific products.”
HM Revenue & Customs state that garments designed for young children must fit within the physical measurement or equate to the average body size of a child up to the eve of their 14th birthday. Consequently, VAT relief is only applicable on children’s clothing measuring below 104cm/41” chest for boys' shirts and knitwear, 105cm/41.5” chest for girls' blouses and knitwear, 72cm/28.5” waist for boys' trousers or 71cm/28” waist for girls' trousers and skirts.