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Value Added Tax

Volume 990: debated on Thursday 7 August 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy towards the zero rating of value added tax for double glazing and thermal shutters following the ruling of the London value-added tax tribunal of 1 July; and how the commissioners of Customs and Excise propose to implement the decision in future.

The decision of the tribunal that the first-time installation of double glazing in an existing building was liable to value added tax at the standard rate has far-reaching implications for a large number of traders and their customers, because such supplies have hitherto been treated as eligible for zero rating. For this reason it is important to place the legal position beyond doubt, and the Commissioners of Customs and Excise have accordingly entered an appeal to the High Court. We must now await the outcome.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amount of value added tax was collected during the past 12 months; and what is the total paid to the European Economic Community.

In 1979 net receipts of VAT were £6,361.6 million and VAT own resources payments to the European Community £844 million.The contribution to the Community for 1979 is paid at a rate of 0.7889 of the value of all transactions included in a

in secondary schools in England in each of the past four academic years; and how many he anticipates there will be in the next academic year.

The pupil population of maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools in England for each of the years requested is at follows:harmonised base laid down by the sixth Council directive on VAT.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish the report of the review carried out by Customs and Excise of the operation of the relief from value added tax of young children's clothing and footwear.

Yes. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library for the convenience of Members. Additional copies are available from Customs and Excise press office, King's Beam House, Mark Lane, London EC3R 7HE.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the revised penalties proposed in section 14(1) of the Finance Act 1980 will be administered by Customs and Excise; what rights of appeal will exist against the imposition of such penalties; and whether Customs and Excise will use the increased penalties to settle cases out of court.

The revised penalties represent increases, in the case of larger taxpayers only, in the maximum penalties already prescribed by the Finance Act 1972 for failure to furnish a VAT return, or failure to pay VAT, when due. Such penalties are imposed not by Customs and Excise but by magistrates' courts, before which proceedings for the above offences are brought. The courts have full discretion to impose such lower penalty as they consider appropriate in the circumstances of any particular case. Appeals against the decisions of the magistrates' courts are to the Crown court or, by way of case stated, to the High Court.Customs and Excise intends to make no change in its existing practice of bringing penalty proceedings only to secure the compliance of persistent defaulters who fail to respond to reminders of their legal obligations, and only after giving due warning to the persons concerned. Nor is it intended to change existing policy under which power that it has to settle cases out of court is not used for these particular offences.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take to amend schedule 4 to the Finance Act 1972 in the light of the recent decisions in the London value added tax tribunal that the installation of double glazing was taxable at the standard rate.

[pursuant to his reply, 31 July 1980, c. 811]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave today to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Lyell).