Protect record stores by closing VAT loophole, urges the FPB

THE UK Independent Record Store Day was used to lobby for closing the VAT loophole which allows big businesses to undercut smaller stores.

The third annual celebration of record stores saw the Forum of Private Business (FPB) and pressure group RAVAS push for the VAT loophole to be closed. The Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) allows retailers to set up distribution centres in the Channel Islands, and avoiding a VAT charge on items worth less than £18.

Chancellor George Osborne announced that the relief would be lowered in November to £15. However, the lobbyists are calling for the relief to be scrapped altogether and hope that pressure from the EU will push the government to act.

“Currently, virtually all the main players in the music industry mail CDs out from the Channel Islands to customers who have bought them online,” said Jane Bennett, head of campaigns at the FPB.

“This means their prices are automatically 20% cheaper and independent retailers on the mainland, whether online or shop-based, simply can’t compete.

“However, following the chancellor’s comments in the Budget, and the EU’s intervention in the debate, it appears that we’re finally going to see the end of this unfair and uncompetitive practice which has gone on for far too long.”

Related reading