Budget 2011

As ever, the world of VAT toodles along, with few highlights, so it is difficult to get excited about the things that are changing. But let’s not start on a negative – here’s a few goodies for you:

VAT registration limit (previously £70k) going up to £73k. [They call it “revalorisation” of the threshold – what is that all about?] This will apply from 1 April 2011.

De-registration limit going up to £71k, from £68k, again effective on 1 April.

There is one interesting change though – the “low value consignment relief” being reduced from £18 to £15. For those who don’t know what this is, it is the value of individual deliveries coming into the UK that slip past HM Customs intact, with no duty or VAT being charged. This is what allows you to get cheap CDs, flowers, vitamins etc. from the Channel Islands – as it would have cost more to collect the taxes than HMRC would gain from collecting them. I don’t know that this will stop the trade, but there you go.

Fuel scale charges will rise as they usually do – from
VAT periods commencing after 1 May 2011.

I would have to express surprise at mention of the wacky “Online Registration Wizard”, which I believe is a posh way of saying that if you register for VAT, you must do it online. Why do they think it is better to dress it up in this way?

And I’ve just noticed a really cheesy mention of a plan which will “….accelerate the move of customers to access services through efficient online channels.” Of course it will, especially if you make it sound as if it is of benefit to the ‘customer’.

Furthermore, they are planning for everyone to do online VAT returns as well – those who have escaped thus far will be forced into it from 1 April 2012.

And finally, further down the page, there is a bit of slush about how HMRC are improving things, in which they mention “operational grit”. That’s what is called an error, in the real world..

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