Letters – Why are we different?

As the financial controller of a small company (turnover #10m) it recently came to our attention that an element of our sales was exempt from VAT although we had been charging VAT at the standard rate since May 1997.

Having obtained agreement from our local VAT office I made a claim to recover VAT charged or paid to Customs in error on our exempt supply.

My letter was dated 2 Feb 2001 to which the VAT officer who investigated our claim applied the strict letter of the law only allowing the claim to go back three years from this date.

How is it the current party in power is able to claim back VAT on an exempt supply to 1995, some six years ago? (Labour receives pre-election boost, 22 Feb, page 1) Or is this another case of one rule for them while small companies are penalised?

Mark Willoughby, financial controller, Eastbourne.

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