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.

Eskino Fri 22-Feb-13 09:50:10

YANBU to be pissed off about it, but 61/2 IS adult size, So YABU to expect 20% off because your dd has big feet. Perhaps get ladies shoes at a cheaper shop?

BMW6 Fri 22-Feb-13 09:50:36

I hope u get your wish as I am size 6 and 55 yo! As most of female population take size 6 and under most of us will get VAT free shoes! grin

OBface Fri 22-Feb-13 09:51:06

Hmmm I'm not so sure. Most of my adult friends (in their late 20's/early 30s so were children not THAT long ago) have size 4-6 feet. So think the current VAT rules are ok.

I share your pain. And frustration. DS is 13, 5'9" and has size 8 1/2 feet. Since when did a 13 year old stop being a child?

On a separate note, I luffs Clarks. I was in there the other day and accidentally bought myself the most incredibly comfortable smart black boots I've had in years.

HappyAsEyeAm Fri 22-Feb-13 09:53:50

I understand what you're saying. And I would personally benefit from it as I'm a 3 1/2.

On a slight tangent, but I think Clarks take advantage of the zero VAT when pricing childrens shoes. The last two pairs I've bought for DS1 (5 yo) - and he only has a pair of school shoes, a pair of trainers and some wellies on the go at any one time - were £34 a pair. Astronomical.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 09:55:28

Childrens clothes and shoes are VAT free. Although why the governement thinks children stoop growing at 10 is beyond me.

It is something that needs radical reform.

Along with VAT free tampons!

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 09:57:19

So would all size 6 shoes be VAT free or just those in "children's" styles?

Hopeforever Fri 22-Feb-13 10:02:03

I'm only asking for shoes that a 10 to 13 year old would wear, not high heels or fashion, just kick abouts, trainers, Wellies.....

Just kids shoes

It would seem the average size for a woman is now 7 with a fast rise in the number of women buying size 8 - 10 shoes.

BMW6 Fri 22-Feb-13 10:04:34

Doctrine - glittery, pink, size 6...... I'd wear 'em for the craic grin

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 10:05:06

A quick flick through the HMRC site suggests children under 14 should be zero rated VAT, then they persistently refer to 'young children'.

VAT free shoes and clothes...what? I've never heard this before.

ILikeBirds Fri 22-Feb-13 10:06:53

Average size is 7 seems strange. There's always 7s left in the sales. I don't know any friends who take more than a 6

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 10:08:23

Parliamentary note:

Clothing and footwear for young children are charged a zero rate of VAT. Articles must be both designed for young children, and suitable only for young children. In meeting these criteria, articles cannot exceed certain maximum sizes which accord with an average 13 year old child. This note gives a short summary of the law, before looking at certain criticisms have been made of the zero rate, and the case that has been made for extending it to all school uniforms.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 22-Feb-13 10:09:36

6 1/2 is a big size for a 10yo though. I don't know many adult women bigger than a 6.

I don't think you can ask for change just because your family is unusually large footed, it would have to be that a significant number of children weren't being included, and I don't think that's true.

Equally if she is the size of a teenager it makes sense that child tax rules stop applying, though it is unlucky for both of you.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 10:11:09

Now Im reading the parliamentary deabte .... this is so shockingly funny!


One of the aspects of this matter which has throughout troubled successive Chancellors has been the very considerable abuse of the relief for young children’s clothing. It has been estimated as much as 25 per cent of so-called young children’s clothing which is exempt from purchase tax is in fact worn by adults. This is, of course, to make a complete nonsense of the relief, and unfortunately it is no part of my responsibility as Chancellor of the Exchequer to add to the many advantages already enjoyed by slim and nubile young women.
I therefore asked Customs & Excise3 to see whether they could not work out a more restrictive scheme, in order to cut the abuse to the minimum. This they have done, though they will, I suspect, have needed all their ingenuity to deal with a situation where, for instance – so the Customs experts tell me – the waist measurement of the current Miss World is that of an average young girl of 12.4

www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN01123

Adversecamber Fri 22-Feb-13 10:12:23

DS has size 9 feet, I fully expect him to end up with feet larger than a size 12 like DH which makes mega problems. No regular shoe shops stock above a 12 and shoes cost 100 a pair from specialist big foot shops, socks cost twice as much as normal size feet socks as well.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 10:13:22

adverse both my elder boys have size 13 feet - try Brabanto if you have one near you - or Sports Direct online

thesnootyfox Fri 22-Feb-13 10:18:27

The adult prices start at size 3 don't they?

Ds is 8 and average height he is a size 3. Some of his taller classmates are already in a size 5 or 6!

scampadoodle Fri 22-Feb-13 10:19:08

No, you are NBU. TeWi it's not just girls that wear shoes you know! DS1 is 11 and we recently had to get him size 6 football boots, so paying VAT. I don't think size 6/7/8 is at all unusual for a boy so obviously the VAT threshold is a bit low, for boys at least. I agree that most women probably peak at size 6ish.
And of course people are going to abuse it & buy kids' shoes if they have small enough feet but then of course they have to buy kids' styles - and would you want to, really? Shoe shops without a children's section don't charge less for for the size 4 than the size 6 in the same style, do they? So it must be policed by HMRC to some extent.

sayithowitis Fri 22-Feb-13 10:20:46

It appears that a size 6 is regarded as the average size for women's feet. That indicates that the number of women who take larger than a 6 is roughly the same as the number who take a lower size?

I am surprised that a 6 is the average - I am in my 50's and take an 8. I was never aware that my feet were abnormally large compared to my schoolfriends. Even now, I know many of my friends and work colleagues have similar, if not bigger feet than me, although there are a couple with tiny feet - 2 1/2 and 3. And certainly, whenever I need to buy new shoes, it always seems to be more difficult to get my size. They always seem to sell out of 8 first!

Anyhow, the difficulty is that there will always need to be a cut off point of some sort and cut off points, whatever criteria is used, will always be somewhat arbitrary.

Not sure how much the VAT really adds to the shoes - my DH wears shoes by the same manufacturer and in same styly as my two DCs did when they were at school. Prices were different according to size of shoe - DH's were more because they were bigger. Can't say I ever noticed any difference due to VAT.

DS1 is 6 and is a size 2 shoe. YANBU to want sizes to me more aligned to modern shapes but I still don't think its the norm for a girl to be bigger footed (I was a size 7 at 10, size 8 at 11)

I just had to wear adult flats and my mum swallowed the VAT as there was no choice.

Trills Fri 22-Feb-13 10:25:20

Articles must be both designed for young children, and suitable only for young children.

As HollyBerryBush says, if "children's shoes" went up to size 7 then they wouldn't be "suitable only for young children", they'd be suitable for more than half the adult female population.

I was paying VAT on my DS shoes when he was 8! He's now a size 12. However I am a size 4 so still get VAT free wellies, trainers and slippers. grin

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 22-Feb-13 10:26:57

Of course I know boys wear shoes!

Growing out of children's tax sizes at 10/11yo sounds perfectly reasonable to me though, they are not young children anymore.

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