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Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average time is for which valued added tax payments have been delayed by the use of Extended Verification on UK mobile phone, computer parts and pharmaceutical export companies; and what the longest such delay has been. (113258)

HM Revenue and Customs does not collate the information requested and would incur disproportionate costs in doing so. Each case of verification is treated on its own merits, the time taken to reach a decision being that required to fully establish the veracity of the claim. However, if at any time during the verification HM Revenue and Customs identifies that part or the entire claim is unconnected to missing trader intra-community fraud and is otherwise valid, HM Revenue and Customs will make prompt repayment of the amount.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the internal manual of procedure for HM Revenue and Customs to implement extended verification on traders for value added tax. (113259)

HM Revenue and Customs has a duty to protect revenue and its targeted and risk-based in-depth verification of VAT repayment claims is a proportionate response to the organised criminal attack on the VAT system through attempted MTIC fraud. HM Revenue and Customs already places a significant proportion of its internal guidance on VAT on its website. Making available any further information on extended verification procedures would be likely to prejudice the assessment and collection of VAT.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on HM Revenue and Customs’ use of extended verification procedures for VAT. (113655)

Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such representations.