HC Deb 09 December 1992 vol 215 cc698-700W
Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements have been agreed for the payment of VAT on exports under the single market.

Sir John Cope

Payment of VAT on goods despatched from the United Kingdom to other member states will not normally be required under single market arrangements.

Sales in such circumstances may be zero-rate provided that the supplier quotes the customer's VAT number on the sales invoice and holds satisfactory commercial evidence of removal of the goods from the United Kingdom. If the customer is not VAT registered, VAT will be chargeable in the United Kingdom unless the supplier is required to account for VAT in the member state of destination under distance selling arrangements such as mail order. Customs and Excise will be issuing more detailed guidance very shortly.

Exports to countries outside the European Community will continue to be zero-rated as at present.

Mr. French

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many VAT registered traders were penalised for late payment of VAT in each of the last eight quarters; and how much the Exchequer received in fines resulting from this.

Sir John Cope

The number of VAT registered taxpayers surcharged in the last eight quarters for which figures are availale are as follows:

Number of taxpayers surcharged
1 November 1991 to 31 January 1992 36,457
1 December 1991 to 29 February 1992 36,934
1 January to 31 March 1992 31,261
1 February to 30 April 1992 37,691
1 March to 31 May 1992 37,090
1 April to 30 June 1992 37,093
I May to 31 July 1992 37,021
1 June to 31 August 1992 36,930

The total amount of surcharge payments received during the same period is approximately £51.2 million. This figure will include payments of some surcharge assessments issued prior to 1 November 1991.

Mr. Gale

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of how the administration of the transitional value added tax system from 1 January will affect subscription sales of magazines in EC member states(a) to customers who are not registered for value added tax, (b) to customers who are registered for value added tax, (c) if sales in the country of destination are over 35,000 ecu and (d) if sales to the country of destination are over 100,000 ecu.

Sir John Cope

[holding answer 7 December 1992]: After I January 1993, the tax treatment of goods supplied by VAT-registered traders to customers in other member states under the distance selling arrangements—for example by mail order—will be dependent on thresholds. Each member state has the choice of adopting a threshold of either 35,000 ecu or 100,000 ecu. If sales to a member state are beneath that member state's threshold, then VAT in the member state of origin is chargeable; in the case of supplies of magazines from the United Kingdom, this would be zero. If sales exceed the threshold laid down by a member state, then all sales to that member state are chargeable at the appropriate rate of VAT in that member state and the trader will need to be registered for VAT or appoint a tax representative in that member state. Supplies to VAT-registered traders in other member states can continue to be zero-rated on "export" if the VAT registration number of the consignee is shown on a tax invoice.

It is not possible to estimate centrally how subscription sales of magazines will be affected. At present VAT is payable in most member states but the amount paid is not known to us. In future, traders beneath the appropriate thresholds will benefit by being able to apply our zero rate. Traders above the thresholds will need to be registered in other member states. The effect of the new arrangements on individual traders will therefore depend on their turnover in each member state.

Mr. Andrew Smith

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list for each of the last five years up to 30 November(a) total VAT registrations and (b) total new registrations.

Sir John Cope

[holding answer 8 December 1992]: The information requested is as follows:

At 31 March Total VAT registrations Total new registrations
1988–89 1,623,866 234,666
1989–90 1,710,106 266,094
1990–91 1,745,097 217,882
1991–92 1,677,829 194,070
11992 1,643,679 124,371
11 April to 30 November.

Figures from 1991 onwards reflect the effects of substantial increases in the registration and deregistration thresholds in the 1991 Budget.

Forward to