VAT and Jersey – today’s Jersey Evening Post

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This was in the Jersey Evening Post today. I am pleased to say that I helped draft the EDM in question.

MPs move on 'VAT loophole' business

By Ben Qu?©r?©e

UK Chancellor Gordon Brown is coming under more pressure to close Jersey's 'VAT loophole' and shut down the fulfilment industry.

Over 50 MPs have backed a move by the Forum of Private Businesses to lower the Low Value Consignment Relief - the minimum threshold for VAT on imports that effectively makes Jersey's fulfilment industry viable - from £18 to £7.

The proposal, by Jim Sheridan MP, will be raised at 4.30 pm in the House of Commons today.

If approved the move would be disastrous for Jersey fulfilment companies like Play.com that import CDs and DVDs and send them to the UK under the threshold, escaping VAT and undercutting the UK high street.

The Forum of Private Businesses, a long-term critic of Jersey's fulfilment industry, say that the UK is already losing £80m worth of tax revenue because of the Low Value Consignment Relief 'loophole' and that the figure could rise to £200m in the next few years.

Economic Development Minister Philip Ozouf (pictured), who was criticised in a scrutiny report this week for 'buckling under pressure from the UK' by clamping down on fulfilment firms, says today's debate shows the pressure from the UK is still there.