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Government should estimate effect of closing the retail export scheme

07 December 2020
Issue: 4772 / Categories: News

As a result of pressure from the Treasury committee the government has published an impact assessment on the ending of the VAT retail export scheme which allows non-EU visitors to the UK to claim a VAT refund from customs when leaving the country.

The effect of abolishing tax-free shopping for non-EU visitors to the UK will lead to fewer high spending tourists visiting the UK from places such as America China and the Middle East. 

The Office for Budget Responsibility has confirmed that this is the case and also states that those coming to the UK will spend less. 

According to Mel Stride chair of the Treasury committee the document fails to provide an estimate of the effects on the wider tourism and leisure sectors. He said: ‘These sectors will be worried that up to 30 000 tourists many of whom are high spending ...

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