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With more than 3,000 riders involved in road accidents every year, the BHS steps up its campaign to make riding hats VAT-free

The British Horse Society will present a petition asking for VAT to be removed from riding hats to Kettering MP Phil Sawford on Monday 11 February.

The petition, which contains more than 1,400 signatures, is the latest move in the BHS’s ongoing campaign to bring riding hats in line with cycle helmets,which had VAT removed by the Chancellor at the last budget.

Previous appeals have been refused because according to the government: “EU regulations do not permit any further zero-rated items”. However, the BHS believes that by asking for a simple amendment to one item of the 1994 VAT Act, they may be successful this time.

The item in question states that: “protective helmets for wear by a person driving or riding a motor bicycle or riding a pedal cycle” carry VAT at a zero rate.

The BHS hopes to add the words “or riding a horse” to the statement, which they believe is sufficient to make all riding hats and helmets exempt.

BHS chief executive Kay Driver said: “This is a tax on safety. Riders are extremely vulnerable road users and protective headgear is a must. The BHS owes it to every rider to make the government see sense.”

  • Click here to read more about the campaign to removeVAT from riding hats.
  • Click here for expert advice on choosing a riding hat.