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What items do you pay the VAT on in the UK?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by TheBigNewt, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I know it's a pretty high tax (20%?). But what things that you buy do you pay it on? In the US we have "sales tax" which is about 8.3% in my state, higher/lower in others. But we don't pay it on food or medical supplies. We don't pay it on services like haircuts, fixing your car, doctor's appointments. Just curious as to what you pay that (high) tax on. Also our sales tax doesn't go to our federal gubment, it goes to the state, county, and city gubments. I bet most of yours goes to the feds right?
     
    #1 TheBigNewt, Jan 22, 2018 at 4:26 PM
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  2. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    The answer to that is pretty long and it's not always 20% - some things are taxed at 5%.
    There's a long list here which gives you the best view: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-of-vat-on-different-goods-and-services.

    You may think the tax is high ... it has been lower.
    Personally, I would rather pay this tax and know that things like insulin, schooling, etc. is covered for everyone regardless of income.
     
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  3. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. So services and health supplies aren't taxed there either. Nor is food from the grocery store. Restaurant food is taxed here. So is booze at the grocery store. Interesting you don't pay tax on books and magazines. We do. Our federal gubment doesn't participate in public education, that's a state domain. So we pay for most of that with property taxes which are levied by our counties.
     
  4. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    Most health related supplies are not taxed but sanitary products are which is pretty controversial (especially as condoms are not).
    Although we don't pay tax on books, we do pay it on ebooks.
    And I noticed the list on the link I sent only mentions children's clothes which are not taxed but not adult clothes which are taxed.

    I'll duck out now as this is not really diabetes related and, as you may be able to tell from the few items I have mentioned above, the topic can get controversial.
     
  5. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Master
    Retired Moderator

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    E3FF5277-2A2B-43C3-848B-E937826414BA.jpeg
    Funny you should post about this this afternoon, I was looking at my groceries list earlier and was looking at the VAT chargeable items. VAT stands for Value Added Tax, initially it was supposed to be on luxury items but there is no rhyme or reason to it these days. Here is my grocery list, the items marked with an * have VAT charged, so paracetamol (?acetamphetamine in USA) toothpaste and bin bags are chargeable, hardly luxuries! Feminine hygiene products have recently been reduced to 5% after a campaign, again hardly luxuries. Chocolate is chargeable yet biscuits aren’t!
     
  6. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    We also have other taxes on some goods, set each year by the Government in the annual budget. Things such as stamp duty (on newly purchased property over a certain amount of money), cars and motor bikes etc., booze, cigarettes etc. petrol and diesel, and a recently threatened sugar tax on sugary soft drinks which is rather controversial.

    The only taxes raised by Local and County authorities is from Council Tax (every property is taxed annually this way according to which band it is in, the bands decided mostly by how big the house is , and also Business Tax on businesses. Amounts laid down by each individual authority annually.
     
    #6 Bluetit1802, Jan 22, 2018 at 5:36 PM
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  7. BunsenHoneydew

    BunsenHoneydew Prediabetes · Active Member

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    You don't pay VAT on doctors visits because you don't pay to go to the dr.
     
  8. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah if you pay that BIG VAT on a car that would hurt a lot! The US and state gubments tax the **** out of boozy and smoky treats. They tax gasoline too but not as much as they do there. Our gas is only $2.25/gallon here. I remember my case getting stolen off a train in Ireland so I had to buy some clothing. They waived the VAT (22%) because I was travelling. But I had to validate some card they gave me before I left the UK/Ireland.
     
  9. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think when it was just a tax on luxury items it was called Purchase Tax.
     
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  10. Mike d

    Mike d Type 2 · Expert

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    I'm familiar with US taxes, same with the UK VAT (IIRC it was 7.5% back in 1974 !!) and they are insidious

    Our GST is set at a flat national 10% and that's more than enough. Don't start me on personal income tax :(
     
  11. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, yesterday I got some petrol (from Asda which tends to be the cheapest place for miles) it was £1.20.7 per litre (thats about $1.69 according to Google) so that's $6.40 per US gallon or $7.68 per UK gallon!
     
  12. miahara

    miahara Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    The price we pay for any item includes the sum of all the 'value added tax' along each stage of the supply chain. A can of beans has VAT imposed on the steel can, the farmer who grew the beans, the transport company who delivered the beans to the processor, the processor and the company that delivered the tins to the supermarket. All these taxes on values added, add to the final price and to the amount of VAT we pay on that tin.
    In the UK the government is now, from 2017, calculating GDP (gross domestic product) from VAT receipts as it is reckoned to be a better indication of national economic health than the previous method.
     
  13. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that is correct because at each stage of the process the VAT on the previous stage can be claimed back so only the end user is effectively paying the tax.
     
  14. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

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    unless the person selling is not vat register
     
  15. bamba

    bamba Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Actually biscuits are chargeable, but cakes not.

    There was a very long court case about whether Jaffa Cakes were cakes or biscuits -McVities won this aginst Inland Revenue.
     
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  16. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Master
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    Oh I’ve heard about the Jaffa cakes story. However my Bahlsen Pick Up biscuits don’t have an * next to them on my Tesco grocery list pictured above, implying they are VAT free!
     
  17. miahara

    miahara Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    I stand corrected. Thanks!
     
  18. slip

    slip Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    "in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
     
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  19. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Inheritance Tax even manages to combine the two.
     
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  20. bamba

    bamba Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you're right - it's chocolate covered biscuits that invoke VAT.
     
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