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9 on a regular basis gadgets you did not know had been hit with VAT


See the quirky facet of UK taxes with the gadgets that it’s important to pay VAT on. Discover out what’s VAT-taxed and the way it impacts your pockets.

scissors cutting VAT

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Within the UK, VAT (Worth-Added Tax) is a kind of tax that’s added to the worth of products and providers.

The usual fee is normally 20%, however some gadgets have a lowered fee or are even VAT-free.

VAT is added to gadgets which can be thought of a luxurious.

However, among the gadgets which can be taxed might sound a bit odd or unfair to many individuals.

Listed below are examples of issues and requirements the place the VAT cost might sound a bit ridiculous.


Present VAT fee: customary fee of 20% VAT

I do know we dwell in a rustic recognized for its wet days greater than its sunny ones, however we nonetheless want SPF safety.

Absolutely sunscreen isn’t meant to be a luxurious attributable to well being causes?

Sunscreen is taxed at the usual fee, despite the fact that it’s a necessary health-related merchandise.

Kids’s automobile seats

Present VAT fee: lowered fee of 5% VAT

Security gadgets like automobile seats defend little ones on the highway.

And, okay, it’s been a number of years since I had a child, however I keep in mind being instructed that you simply can not let a new child depart the hospital with no automobile seat!

When you don’t must pay the total VAT fee, they’re not totally exempt.

I don’t learn about you, however I discover it odd that such important security gadgets similar to security seats, booster seats, and booster cushions for little kids are taxed in any respect.

Nevertheless, you pay zero VAT with different protecting road-related gadgets, similar to bike and bicycle helmets.

Bathroom roll

Present VAT fee: customary fee of 20% VAT

Every wipe is taxed – and at 20%.

Bathroom paper is classed as a luxurious by the federal government, so we’ve to pay additional.

However, as “Who Give A Crap” factors out in their petition, caviar, helicopters and marshmallows are VAT-free (though, I’m undecided I’d like to make use of marshmallows for a similar job)!

Hygiene merchandise

Present VAT fee: customary fee of 20% VAT

Whereas the well-known “tampon tax” on menstrual merchandise was abolished, different hygiene merchandise like toothpaste and cleaning soap nonetheless carry VAT.

These are on a regular basis necessities for sustaining well being and hygiene.

With so many individuals struggling to get an NHS dentist appointment, maybe that is one place the federal government may look to ease up on charging us?

Previously, Tesco lowered the associated fee by 20% (paying the VAT themselves) on traces of child’s toothpaste and toothbrushes to make it extra reasonably priced for fogeys.

Glasses and make contact with lenses

Present VAT fee: lowered fee of 5% VAT (so long as they’re bought with a prescription)

Whereas there’s a lowered fee for glasses and make contact with lenses, it’s unusual that these important gadgets for many individuals’s day by day lives aren’t fully VAT-free.

They’re medical requirements for these with impaired imaginative and prescient, and even with a low prescription it’s important to have them to drive.

However, the specs I put on are a luxurious, clearly.

If you wish to get glasses for style with no prescription (I’m positive there was a development some time again) or customary sun shades, it’s important to pay full VAT on them.


Present VAT fee: customary fee of 20% VAT

Bras are costly, however appear to be a primary necessity for half the inhabitants.

But, there’s a full fee of VAT on their sale.

Radiographers have been calling that they’re modified to be exempt from the tax guidelines.

House vitality

Present VAT fee: lowered fee of 5%

Your fuel and electrical energy payments have a lowered VAT fee, however heating and powering your private home seems like a primary necessity within the grand scheme of issues.

Why is there any VAT on this, particularly throughout colder months?

There was speak and rumours of a quickly discount to 0% as a result of vitality disaster again in 2022, however we bought the Vitality Payments Help Scheme as a substitute.

Incontinence merchandise

Present VAT fee: customary fee of 20% VAT

Whereas the “tampon tax” on menstrual merchandise was eliminated in 2021, it solely applies to menstrual movement or lochia.

Incontinence merchandise have their half to play in serving to with peoiple’s dignity, however they’re particularly excluded from having a VAT discount.

It’s a luxurious merchandise, apparently.

Nevertheless, if the particular person shopping for them is disabled or has a continual diseases, they’re ready ot purchase them with out VAT – if yow will discover a retailer to do that.

Chocolate biscuits

Present VAT fee: customary fee of 20% VAT if lined in chocolate (zero rated for plain biscuits)

Do you know that almost all biscuits and truffles are VAT-free, but when they’re lined in chocolate, they’re taxed?

It’s a bit unusual, proper?

It means your plain digestive biscuit dodges the tax, however as quickly because it’s dipped in chocolate, it’s thought of a luxurious and taxed.

It’s fascinating to see how the concept of what’s thought of a “luxurious” and what’s a “necessity” performs out on the planet of taxes.

However, issues can and do change.

The elimination of the tampon tax, due to such a giant public push reveals that we are able to make a distinction.

Naomi Willis
Newest posts by Naomi Willis (see all)

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