For a number of years HM Treasury have been considering potential reforms to the Contracted-Out-Services – numbered 1 through to 76 – which you will be familiar with from our reports. As a quick recap these rules [Section 41 VATA94] are the mechanism with which NHS and Government Departments (GD) reclaims VAT on certain outsourced services.
Following Germany’s decision to reduce VAT from 19% to 16% in order to boost consumer spending and Rishi Sunak’s contemplation of a similar action here in the UK, what are the chances and the pundit’s opinions?
The PM announced on Friday a VAT deferral to support UK
businesses in this unprecedented time. The deferral will hopefully help
many businesses to stay afloat during this difficult period, but it is worth
reminding all businesses that this will not abolish any VAT due, it will
simply defer the date it is due for payment and exists to help those in
financial difficulty or hardship. To summarise how this deferral will
work in practice:
The 2020 Budget did have some announcements which will
affect many of our NHS Clients. Firstly, the NHS as a whole will be set
to receive £6 billion of additional funding across the course of this
parliament, and in addition, to support the recent outbreak of coronavirus, an
emergency fund of £5 billion is being set-up. The Chancellor gave
assurances that the NHS would get whatever resource it needs at
this crucial time – a welcome announcement.
Last week HMRC announced their plans for VAT if the UK ends up leaving the EU in March 2019 without a deal. They have emphasised that the government is confident a deal will be reached, but they are introducing contingency plans as a precautionary measure.
The update today has announced very little in the way of VAT changes. They reinforced their attitude towards tax avoidance by confirming that a new penalty regime will be introduced for those involved. They also commented that they were specifically focusing on shutting down inappropriate use of the flat rate scheme.