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Value Added Tax

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will treat second-hand private cars in the same way as secondhand commercial vehicles for deemed value added tax payments within the lump sum price paid to the vendor by a value added tax registered purchaser in the motor trade.

I have no plans to change the present practice under which second-hand motor cars are taxable only on the seller's margin on resale. To treat them in the same way as second hand commercial vehicles would require taxing them in the same way as second-hand be disadvantageous for registered traders purchasing from unregistered vendors where there is no input tax available for deduction.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) why the installation of a storm porch in a house is zero-rated for value added tax but the repair or renewal of guttering, slates, tiles, pipes, taps washers, plumbing and drainage is subject to value added tax at 15 per cent;(2) why the maintenance or improvement of existing domestic boilers is subject to value added tax at 15 per cent., whereas the installation of a new boiler is zero-rated;(3) why the replacement of a window involving a change in the size of the aperture is zero-rated for value added tax, but the repair of broken windows, including glass, sashes and frames is subject to value-added tax at 15 per cent.

Under the statutory provisions applying to building construction work, a supply in the course of the construction or alteration of a building may be VAT zero-rated. Work of repair or maintenance, however, is specifically excluded from such relief and is chargeable at the standard rate. My hon. Friend's examples illustrate the operation of this borderline.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the total cost in a full year of exempting all outstanding buildings and conservation areas from paying value added tax on their building maintenance work.

I am afraid that the information to make a reliable estimate is not available.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money was raised in the fiscal year 1978–79 by the imposition of value added tax upon building repairs carried out on outstanding buildings and conservation areas within the United Kingdom.

I regret that the information is not available because there is no way of distinguishing the VAT charged for repairs to such buildings from that of other building work.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money he has collected in 1979–80 from the imposition of value added tax upon wheelchairs, walking frames and all similar aids to those with locomotive disabilities.

Wheelchairs, walking frames and most mechanical aids specially designed for use by the disabled are zero-rated when the supply is to the disabled and supported by a medical certificate. Most other supplies are taxable, but the revenue is likely to be small.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether loss of value added tax revenue would occur if nonprofit making trades were to be zero-rated, following the same rules of exemption as were applied to the former entertainment tax.

Yes; though the information is not available upon which to make an estimate.