New figures refute suggestions that the increase in VAT in January 2010 cost
less to implement than the earlier decrease.
More than three quarters of businesses believe the VAT increase to 17.5% had
the same time and cost impact as the earlier decrease to 15%. This is despite
estimates that suggested the lessons learned from the decrease
would mean the shift back up to 17.5% would be less onerous.
The ORC International
survey, on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs, found that 43% of large
businesses thought the cost to increase VAT was higher than the previous
decrease: only a third saw a similar cost.
More than half of respondents said there was nothing that the government or
HMRC could do to help them prepare for the future rate increase.
Smaller businesses were more likely than larger businesses to say they felt
the information they received at the time of the decrease in December 2008.
Four fifths of respondents want at least four weeks’ notice for future rate
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