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VAT Rate Rise A Costly Waste Of Time Say Businesses


A survey carried out by VAT experts, The VAT Consultancy, has revealed that 79% of businesses saw a huge increase in business administration as a result of the VAT rate changes in 2009, while over a third (36%) said that the rate rise had actually incurred costs and driven down profit margins.

Just 13% of the company’s client base, which comprises a cross-section of business from large organisations to SMEs and general accountancy practitioners, saw a positive impact of the temporary rate reduction.  One respondent cited that they had recently seen a sudden rush in customers ordering to beat the rate rise which was good for business now, but they were expecting a slow-down in the new year as a result.

The majority however claimed that it had been a costly waste of time.  ‘The changes have had no beneficial effects, but have created hours of work’ claimed one respondent, while another said: ‘An increase in administration for no benefit says it all’.

The survey undertaken last week also confirmed that 50% of respondents were expecting a further rate rise to 20% in the next twelve months.

John Crawford, Managing Director of The VAT Consultancy, who used to work for HM Revenue & Customs himself wasn’t surprised by the findings.  “We have seen a great deal of confusion, and in some cases, anger at the move this year.  The temporary VAT rate reduction was enforced to boost the flailing economy but it would appear that it has had the opposite effect.  What’s more, penalty regimes are becoming ever harsher and more strictly enforced, so the fallout for businesses getting it wrong could be catastrophic.”

To discuss how to ensure that your business doesn’t fall foul of the VAT rate changes contact John Crawford at The VAT Consultancy on 01962 735350 for a no-obligation consultation.  Alternatively, visit

The VAT Consultancy
The VAT Consultancy is the country’s leading independent dedicated VAT practice, giving expert advice on all aspects of UK and European indirect tax matters. The company’s team of qualified experts has proven experience in helping clients to save substantial amounts of money, avoiding penalties, simplifying procedures and improving cash flow. The company was recognised as ‘The Best Tax Team in a Boutique Firm’ at the Taxation Awards 2009.

For more information or further quotes, please contact: Steve or Alex on 01962 738718 or