Well, this year’s Budget has been and gone and once again it is not terribly exciting for the majority of businesses or indeed home-owners, on the VAT front.

The VAT registration limit has increased again – up to £83,000.

That’s about it.

Well, that is, with the exception of quite a novel way of dealing with overseas scoundrels who (believe it or not) appear to have been trying to defraud the VAT system. OK, you go on to Amazon or similar and decide to buy a new gizmo from someone based outside the EU. You pay, and he delivers it from a UK warehouse, where the goods are stored. But he’s not VAT registered and won’t be paying over the VAT content of the sale to you. That’s not good, as it is clearly defrauding HMRC and indirectly doing likewise to you and me.

HMRC are now putting in place an anti-avoidance measure, designed to rectify the situation. Better still, if they can’t get the foreign miscreant to comply, they will have legal powers to make the ‘top’ vendor jointly liable to pay the ‘missing’ VAT – eg Amazon, or whoever has facilitated the sale.

That’s the VAT excitement for this year’s Budget.

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