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Things you don't have to pay VAT on that aren't tampons

by in news

Campaigners will hand a 198,000-strong petition calling for VAT on tampons to be scrapped to George Osborne today. Currently sanitary products are taxed at five per cent - while items such as flapjacks have a zero per cent VAT rate.

Laura Coryton, the 21-year-old who started the Change.org petition, wants Osborne to back the campaign and take it to the European parliament as Britain cannot exclude an item from VAT unilaterally.

According to the government's own terminology, a person will pay 20 per cent VAT most of the time "but less on essential items".

Does that mean the chancellor believes all the below things - taxed at zero per cent or exempt altogether - are more essential than tampons?


Edible cake decorations

herbal tea

(Zero per cent)


Marshmallow teacakes

Flapjacks

(Zero per cent)


Baps and pitta bread

pitta bread

(Zero per cent)


Aircraft repair and maintenance

aircrafts

(Zero per cent)


Bingo

bingo

(Exempt altogether)


Jaffa Cakes

Jaffa cakes

(Zero per cent)


Chickpeas and lentils

Jaffa cakes

(Zero per cent)


Exotic meat such as horse, ostrich, crocodile and kangaroo

crocodile

(Zero per cent)


Flapjacks

Flapjacks

(Zero per cent)


Sewer cleaning

sewer cleaning

(Zero per cent)


Herbal tea

herbal tea

(Zero per cent)


Houseboat moorings

Houseboat moorings

(Exempt altogether)


Incontinence products

Houseboat moorings

(Zero per cent)


Parking spaces or garages supplied with houseboat moorings

Houseboat moorings

(Exempt altogether)


Printing leaflets

Houseboat moorings

(Zero per cent)


The Change.org petition says "a five per cent tax rate has been placed on sanitary products, while exotic meats walk tax-free. HM Revenue and Customs justify this rate by labelling these sexual health products as ‘non-essential’ items".

Speaking to i100.co.uk in August, HMRC said the final point was "a matter for ministers".

What's more essential, Mr Osborne, tampons or crocodile meat?

George Osborne looking startled


Note: Zero rate and exempt are distinct in that something exempt from VAT will always be so - but still subject to other taxes - while something taxed under a zero rate could still one day be charged VAT.

(Source: HMRC and... HMRC)


More: The best game about tampons ever made. Period



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