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HMRC internal manual

VAT Clothing

The design test - is the article designed for young children?: Garments which may be zero-rated irrespective of size

A garment may be worn only by members of groups or organisations which cater exclusively for under-14 year olds - for example, items of Brownie or Beaver uniform bearing logos identifying them as parts of that uniform. Such garments would not be suitable for wear by older persons, although technically they might fit some of them. They therefore qualify for zero-rating irrespective of size. The same allowance may be made for garments that bear a prominent logo, crest or badge identifying them as part of the official uniform of schools catering exclusively for children under 14 years of age. Please see VCLOTHING9100 for a comprehensive list of such items.

This concession relates only to garments intended for the children’s wear and not to garments intended for sale to the general public (e.g. sweatshirts sold for fund-raising purposes through the PTA).

Items of school uniform which do not bear the name or crest of the school (e.g. plain blouses and shirts or sweaters bearing coloured bands on the neck or cuffs) are subject to the normal sizing criteria. The policy on school uniforms is sometimes the subject of contentious correspondence. In VCLOTHING6000 we advise how to deal with this.