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Charity launches petition for VAT rebate on Tommies figures

Charity launches petition for VAT rebate on Tommies figures

A petition on asking for a VAT rebate on Remembered’s There Not There Tommy figurines has now reached over 100,000 signatures.

Remembered is selling the ‘There But Not There’ ‘Tommies’ online to raise funds for six military charities including Walking with the Wounded, Project Equinox, and Help for Heroes. As well as the life-size six-foot aluminium silhouette, there are 30cm tabletop Perspex Tommies, silhouettes for benches and chairs, name blocks, a pin badge, and stickers available. 

The campaign started this Spring, as the 2018 Armistice project for the charity to educate people about the WW1 soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the war and to commemorate the fallen. So far, sales have raised nearly £4m for the charities, but because the Tommies are technically classed as merchandise, £800,000 of this money has had to be paid in tax to HM Revenue & Customs, making it the single largest beneficiary of the fundraising initiative.



Remembered has launched the petition to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to ask for a rebate on the VAT paid. There is a precedent: George Osborne waived more than £1m in VAT from the sales of the ceramic Remembrance Day poppies that were displayed at the Tower of London back in 2014. Other rebates have also been given, including to The Band Aid Trust, which received back £2m in 2005, while VAT was also refunded on sales of Band Aid’s 30th anniversary single in 2015.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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