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What is a uniform?

20 January 2015
Issue: 4485 / Categories: Forum & Feedback , VAT

Staff uniforms and associated VAT and benefit in kind liabilities

I was interested in Uniform approach. A fashion retailer gives current season branded clothing to its retail store staff. They must wear this as their uniform for three months until the next season’s apparel arrives. A detachable badge shows the brand name and employees who leave within three months must pay for their clothing (30% of retail price).

Is output VAT payable on such supplies and if so at what value? HMRC say that for VAT purposes such supplies are “business gifts” so no output tax is payable if the cost of these gifts made to the same individual in the same year is not more than £50 (excluding VAT). I do not consider that these are gifts but say the conditions attached to the use of clothing that must be worn as uniform means that it has no ascertainable value at the time...

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