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VAT Rules for Business Gifts and Samples: Implications for Social Media Influencers

  • HMRC issued VAT assessments to businesses using social media influencers for advertising
  • Goods provided free of charge under £50 in a 12 month period are not subject to VAT
  • Goods provided as samples are not subject to VAT regardless of cost
  • HMRC does not consider goods provided to influencers as gifts or samples
  • HMRC views influencers as providing services in return for products, and VAT should be accounted for by the supplier
  • Formalizing arrangements between businesses and influencers may strengthen HMRC’s position
  • Supplying products to non-UK resident influencers is not subject to VAT
  • Businesses still need to consider other VAT obligations


Note that this post was (partially) written with the help of AI. It is always useful to review the original source material, and where needed to obtain (local) advice from a specialist.


VAT news
VAT news