To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discretion retailers in the United Kingdom have in offering value added tax refund facilities for foreign visitors; and if he will make a statement.
In common with all other member states of the European Community, the United Kingdom provides a retail export scheme which allows retailers to offer value added tax refunds to foreign visitors. Individual retailers may choose whether or not to operate the scheme.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list for the last financial year the value added tax refunded to (a) each county council, (b) each district council, (c) the British Broadcasting Corporation, (d) Independent Television News Ltd., (e) each cooperative wholesale society, and (f) each co-operative retail society under section 20 of the Value Added Tax Act 1983.
Information relating to specific taxpayers is confidential. However some £1·2 billion was repaid under section 20 of the Value Added Tax Act 1983 to local government bodies, including 475 county and district councils. Neither wholesale nor retail co-operative societies are eligible for repayments under section 20.