HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has reminded businesses that new rules on how VAT returns are submitted and payments are made will be coming into force next year.

There seems no prospect that the cut in VAT will be extended beyond the planned end of the year reversion to the old rate after it was revealed that tax revenues have fallen sharply.

HMRC has introduced some changes to the DIY refund scheme with the objectives of bringing clarity and avoiding unnecessary queries.

The Chancellor has been urged to drop VAT on energy efficient domestic appliances in a scheme that would mirror the car scrappage programme.

Figures suggesting that not all retailers passed on last December’s cut in VAT have been countered by a leading trade organisation.

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