VAT Dropped Today

Good morning! It’s just gone 7am and those programmers out there involved in EPOS and e-commerce systems are either sitting smug or are running around trying to get the computers updated before the shops open.

Today’s the day standard rate of VAT (sales tax) drops from 17.5% to 15%, in a move by the Chancellor to encourage spending. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, I’ve heard that many shops are simply keeping prices as-is, and pocketing the slight difference in markup from each sale. Some high-street shops have bizarre “offers” highlighting the VAT drop as the reason but (in one case) “offer ends 3 December”.

In view of all of this number-crunching fun, I’ve produced a handy VAT Check Sheet for download, which allows you to see the VAT difference, new totals and how much shops should be dropping prices. I think the numbers are right but if anybody has any corrections, thoughts or comments I’ll be happy to update.