Is it fair that health supplements are taxed?
Back in October 2012, Chancellor George Osborne imposed a 20% tax on some sports and health supplements. At the time, there was uproar from sports stars, athletes and professional bodybuilders. Even those who simply attend the gym in their free time weren’t happy about the announcement. Things have quieted down a lot since the change back in 2012, but there’s still a bubbling upset in the fitness community. With many companies now having to offer supplement discount codes to keep their core customers happy, is this going to have a negative impact on the industry as a whole?
What supplements are taxed
When Osborne made the announcement that “some sports supplements” would be taxed, it was unclear exactly how many products would be affected. Since the changes have been made, it’s clear to see that a lot of the market would be impacted by this 20% extra. Popular products such as recovery drinks and powdered supplements, such as protein and creatine, were subject to the price hike. What really caused a stir was when milk protein was included in the list of taxable products. Although it has different nutritional values, it is essentially the same product as milk. Which is not taxed. Many people in the fitness industry couldn’t understand how one was taxable, yet the other not. Add this to the fact that many snack foods are still not subject to any tax and it seems inexplicable to most.
The healthy living agenda
We’re constantly being told by the government to live a healthier lifestyle. This includes exercising more and eating better. Yet, Jaffa Cakes are not subject to 20% tax. Instead, we’re being told that if we want to hit the gym then we have to pay for it. Sports and health supplements used to be reserved for the elite athletes. Not any more. There’s been an enormous increase in your general gym-goers using protein powders and ready-made recovery drinks. After all, we’ve been told to get in shape. These non-elite athletes will already be spending on average £30 a month in order to visit the gym. There are ways to follow a high protein diet on a budget, but they’re now being told they have to spend more, if they want to help their body recover after exercise. If the average person spends £50 a month of sports supplements, they are now subject to an extra £10 in VAT on top. That’s just for your general gym-goers… So you can imagine how much athletes pay for their products. Even with supplement discount codes now rife on the internet, the costs can quickly add up. It seems as though the government are giving us conflicting information about their healthy living agenda. On one side, they want us to exercise more and eat healthily. On the other, they want to charge us a fortune for the privilege.
A group of industry experts came together in 2012 to form the UK Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance. Using petitions and letters to the Chancellor, they’ve tried to get the tax removed. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be getting through. Most people are now relying on supplement discount codes in order to bring the price of their health products down. One of the leading health supplement retailers in the UK, Myprotein, regularly offer money off incentives to help people bring down the costs. Even if it means that it impacts their own profit margins. Companies like this understand that their customers are used to paying less. However, are Myprotein voucher codes enough to outweigh this 20% tax? Essentially, the government need to think again about their attitude on sports and health supplements. If they’re asking us to keep fit but taxing us to do so, it seems like we’ll forever be fighting a losing battle!