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Should contractor accountants take less VAT?

Should contractor accountants take less VAT?

Accountants may be interested to read the latest Office of National Statistics research concerning UK householders VAT expenditure.

The data shows that the UK’s poorest households now pay more VAT in proportion to their total income than they did twenty-five years ago, whilst in the richest households, the proportion remains the same.

In 1986, VATable items accounted for 45% of the poorest 20% of households’ weekly expenditure. By 2001/02 they were spending 58% on items that attracted VAT. That percentage has dropped slightly, but in 2009/10 they were still spending 55% of VATable items.

Over the same period, the percentage of income the richest 20% of households spent on VATable items remained virtually unchanged. The ONS research does not take into consideration the period since the VAT rate increased to 20%.

Still on the subject of VAT, employers need to be aware that changes to the VAT regulations concerning salary sacrifice come into force from the 1st of January next year.

In the past, salary sacrifice schemes have proved popular in part because they brought with them tax advantages, such as reduced PAYE and NIC liabilities and a VAT advantage.

However, as from the start of 2012, employers who recover VAT on benefits and then pass them on to employees under a salary sacrifice arrangement will have to pay VAT on the amount sacrificed.

HMRC says that schemes such as the Cycle to Work scheme will fall under this new arrangement, as will food and catering provided by an employer. Childcare, pensions and private health insurance salary sacrifices will remain unaffected by the new regime.

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Image: Day 323 by pasukaru76

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