HC Deb 17 July 1980 vol 988 cc681-3W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why Wales is not administered as a distinct entity for the purpose of gathering value added tax; and how much value added tax was collected in Wales for the financial year 1979–80.

Mr. Peter Rees

Wales is not administered as a distinct entity for the purpose of gathering value added tax because it is part of the United Kingdom and separate administration would be more expensive. The amount of value added tax collected by Customs and Excise from traders registered in VAT offices in Wales in the calendar year 1978 was a little under £15 million; information for 1979 is not yet available. It is estimated that in 1979–80 the amount of VAT paid by residents of Wales was about £375 mil-

my Department (table 53 of the 1979 edition). The quantities of fuel oil delivered to the top 10 sectors during 1976 to 1979 are tabulated below.

lion, most of this to traders registered in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Sir Timothy Kitson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made to ensure that value added tax on the sale and import of blood-stock is dealt with in a similar manner in the United Kingdom, France and Ireland.

Mr. Peter Rees

I understand that the Commission has decided to open proceedings against the French Government on the grounds that the French provisions for levying value added tax on the basis of a flat-rate valuation (carcase value) of thoroughbred horses are contrary to article 11 of the sixth Council directive. The Irish exemption for thoroughbred

horses is permissible as a transitional derogation under article 28 of the directive and will be reviewed in 1982.

Mr. Hicks

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the average period of delay in the payment of value added tax refunds by his Southend office to traders; what is the total financial sum involved as a result of this delay; what are the reasons for this delay; and what action he is taking to alleviate the situation.

Mr. Peter Rees

[pursuant to his reply, 14 July 1980, c. 418]: On the introduction of VAT the then Financial Secretary said it was hoped to make repayments within one or two weeks of receipt of claims by Customs and Excise. In fact over the past five years, except during and immediately following the period of industrial action by computer staff in Southend last year, over 90 per cent. of valid claims have been repaid within 10 days.

About 50,000 claims involving repayments of some £100 million are dealt with by Customs and Excise each week. Some delays inevitably occur when there is a query on or an error in a claim but Customs and Excise make every effort to keep such delays to the minimum.

The procedures for repayment of VAT are kept under review, and I see no reason for special action at present.

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