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Vat Registration

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what powers he has over the operations of VAT to prevent master franchises from using coercive attempts to press their franchisees into registering for VAT as a means of the master franchises obtaining an exemption under the provisions of the Trading Schemes Act 1996; and if he will make a statement. [114818]

In Budget 2003, the Government raised the registration threshold for VAT to £56,000—the highest threshold in Europe. Businesses with a taxable turnover above this threshold are required to register for VAT. Businesses with a turnover below £56,000, and which make taxable supplies, are entitled to register for VAT voluntarily by application to HM Customs and Excise. Customs have no powers to determine, or to intervene in, the circumstances behind an application for voluntary registration.