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Value Added Tax

Volume 928: debated on Monday 21 March 1977

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases concerning value added tax have been referred to tax tribunals since the inception of the tax; on how many days tribunals have met to consider value added tax cases; what has been the overall cost to public funds of those meetings; and what proportion of total cases referred to tribunals has been concerned with value added tax.

Since the beginning of 1973, 1,683 appeals have been referred to VAT tribunals. A tribunal consists of a chairman sitting either alone or with one or two members. While records are not maintained of the number of days on which a chairman has sat alone to deal with applications on subsidiary matters and make preliminary study of appeals lodged, tribunals comprising a chairman and one or more members have sat on 512 days up to and including 11th March 1977. The total cost of the VAT tribunals to date is estimated at £1,600,000. Value added tax tribunals deal only with appeals relating to VAT.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost of compliance with VAT regulations for retailers with annual turnover less than £15,000 per annum, between £15,000 and £30,000 per annum, between £30,000 and £50,000 per annum, and between £50,000 and £100,000 per annum.

The cost to retailers of administering VAT varies from one business to another and I know of no authoritative source of information on which estimates could be based. The VAT system has, however, been designed as far as possible to fit in with normal

£ million at 1976 Survey prices
1976–771977–78
Gross expenditureChargesExpenditure net of chargesGross expenditureChargesExpenditure net of charges
Defence6,126-5055,6215,980-5365,444
Overseas aid and other overseas services1,065-31,0621,254-21,252
Agriculture, fisheries, food and forestry1,010-71,003559-8551
Trade, industry and employment3,187-1133,0742,261-1092,152
Government lending to nationalised industry800800750750
Roads and transport2,794-782,7162,450-822,368
Housing4,6804,6804,2864,286
Other environmental services2,765-2052,5602,497-2022,295
Law, order and protective services1,899-511,8481,895-591,836
Education and libraries, science and arts7,891-3727,5197,799-4927,307
Health and personal social services6,784-2516,5336,812-2886,524
Social security*11,16811,16811,65911,659
Other public services884-46838854-47807
Common services851-2849785-2783
Northern Ireland1,642-151,6271,557-191,538
TOTAL53,546-1,64851,89851,398-1,84649,552
*After deducting the increase in tax revenue resulting from the associated reduction allowance.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a graph to show defence and Department of Health and Social Security expenditure expressed as a percentage of the total Budget since 1960, including forecast figures to 1980.

I understand that the Library could, on request, prepare a graph of this description using published figures up to 1978–79. Forecasts of total

commercial procedures and accounting practices and there are special VAT schemes to assist retailers to account for VAT.