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Value Added Tax

Volume 82: debated on Monday 8 July 1985

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many traders have been prosecuted for failing to notify Her Majesty's Customs and Excise when their taxable turnover for value added tax purposes exceeds the exemption limit.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations he has received advocating the removal of value added tax charged on meals supplied by local authority school kitchens to voluntary senior citizens' luncheon clubs; and if he will make a statement;(2) what representations he has received advocating the elimination of the taxation differences between the sale of meals by local authorities to voluntary bodies and the meals on wheels service; and if he will make a statement;(3) what is the estimated revenue in a full year from the value added tax charged on meals supplied by local authority school kitchens to voluntary senior citizens' luncheon clubs; and what is the estimated cost of collecting this revenue.

Treasury Ministers have received a few letters. The Meals on Wheels service provided by local authorities as a statutory function under the National Assistance Act 1948 (Amendment) Act 1962 is outside the scope of VAT. But supplies of meals by local authorities to voluntary bodies are subject to the tax in the same way as similar supplies made by private sector caterers. This accords with the principle that supplies made by local authorities should be treated in the same way as similar supplies made in the course of business by the private sector, and an exception in this case would not be justified. I regret that sufficiently detailed information is not available upon which to base an estimate of either the revenue received or the cost of collection.