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Budget 2009: Calls for VAT limit of £100,000 gaining ground

19th Apr 2009
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In one of those odd twists of fate that nobody could predict, Mark Lee,'s guest practice editor for March has really started something!

Mark produced a spoof "Budget leak" on 1 April, with a very realistic draft Budget Notice from HMRC setting out plans to increase the VAT threshold to £100,000. In a well researched spoof, he took in all sorts of people, including some well known firms of accountants who were happy to come forward and admit to being taken in when the Daily Telegraph Business pages ran a feature on the story on 6th April.

But Mark was not to forsee what came next. Business groups have taken up the call for an increase in the VAT threshold in any event - to the maximum permitted by EU law, which according to the spoof press announcement is 100,000 euros. Which since the collapse of sterling against the euro is close to £100,000.

There is now a Downing street petition online asking for the limit to be raised, and the subject is the talk of Business forums in the run up to the Budget, including's sister site Businesszone.


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Mark Lee headshot 2023
By Mark Lee
20th Apr 2009 21:04

Seemed like a good idea at the time. Not sure my execution of the tax April Fool was as effective as it could have been. Sadly I 'got' a number of people who missed what was intended to be the giveaway in the final para of the draft ministerial statement. It said:
Lastly we recommend that the Chancellor express his specific thanks to the Chairman of the Tax Advice Network for the insightful commentaries on his TaxBuzz blog
I think it's fair to say that few people were caught and those who weren't enjoyed it. But I still feel I should apologise to anyone who was caught out or in any way inconvenienced. If that's you then I'm sorry. If I ever attempt another April Fool I will make it more obvious!

For the avoidance of doubt I'm not expecting the Budget increase in the VAT registration threshold to be as dramatic as suggested in my spoof!

Mark Lee
Tax Advice Network

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