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9am Lowdown: Gauke criticises airport VAT scam

12th Aug 2015
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Morning! Here’s the news.

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Gauke criticises airport VAT scam

Treasury minister David Gauke has lamented the fact that the savings shops make through VAT discounts at airports haven’t been passed on to customers, rather being used to boost profits, reports The Independent.

Gauke spoke after the Independent revealed that many airport stores are asking passengers to present their boarding cards when making a purchase. The information on the cards is then used to claim VAT relief on sales to travellers leaving the EU.

The practice means that retailers do not pay 20% VAT on goods sold to customers travelling outside the EU.

Gauke told the Independent: “The VAT relief at airports is intended to reduce prices for travellers, not as a windfall gain for shops.

“While many retailers do pass this saving on to customers, it is disappointing that some are choosing not to. We urge all airside retailers to use this relief for the benefit of their customers.”

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Co-op Bank escapes regulatory fine

The Co-operative Bank has escaped a fine from regulators investigating the banks missteps throughout 2009-13 that led to its bailout.

In its statement, The FCA said the Co-op had misled investors, which would normally mean a fine.

Georgina Philippou, the FCA's acting director of enforcement said it was a serious matter, but said exceptional circumstances meant public censure was the appropriate and proportionate response, reports the BBC.

Ms Philippou said: “It is vitally important that Co-op Bank’s capital resources are directed towards improving its resilience.

“Co-op Bank’s statements about capital in the 2012 financial statements were misleading.”

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Taiwan brings in typhoon tax relief

There are many ways to claim to tax relief in The UK, but a typhoon is not one of them. Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) has arranged for various tax relief measures to be provided to individuals and businesses that were caught up in the destruction caused by Typhoon Soudelor last weekend, reports Tax News.

The MOF has confirmed that income tax exemptions are available to any people that were affected the tempest’s destruction.

However, taxpayers may also be eligible for other types of tax relief. The MOF pointed in particular to relief available from business tax, excise tax, tobacco and alcohol tax, housing tax, land value tax, vehicle license tax, and entertainment tax.


Replies (6)

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By redboam
12th Aug 2015 10:01

There's a bit of a smell about the airport scam. If retailers there are denying a Vat free sale to the customer who is entitled to that, should they not therefore be required to return such wrongly claimed inputs to HMRC with interest and penalties attached? Surely two separate parties cannot be entitled to the same concession.

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By Francois Badenhorst
12th Aug 2015 10:26

I don't think we've heard the last of this.

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Time for change
By Time for change
12th Aug 2015 11:46

As usual, in some quarters,

snouts in the trough!

Possibly HMRC could estimate and then assess those outlets involved?

It's a scandal and, living in the UK these days, you wonder when the next one will come along.



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By The Minion
12th Aug 2015 12:43

wouldn't have been a problem if they had

not messed around with the border part of duty free and left it all as VAT free...

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By dennywren1
13th Aug 2015 10:58

Unjust enrichment

Has no one ever heard of this.

No wonder the tax system is just a mess, I mention this as I remember a famous optician shop having to repay to the taxman incorrect VAT collected from customers. Even Esther Rantzen told customers to go back to the store and get a refund.

Anyone who wants to catch their flight outside the  EU should ask for the VAT not to be charged.

If you cant be bothered then don't bother complaining.



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By SimonP
17th Aug 2015 18:10

This is old news. The Independent is playing catchup.

<yawn>  <yawn>

This is rather old news as the BBC covered it 3 months ago.

Do listen to the Radio 4 podcast [], it's very interesting.

It is not a legal requirement for passengers to show boarding cards when buying goods.


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