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.

Going Solo, Leeds, UK

Good news. Going Solo – the “one-day educational conference for freelancers and small business owners” is open for registration. First 25 registrations get the special early-bird discount and pay just £150 (which by all accounts is going fast…).

I’ve been freelancing for about a year now, and running a small business for over six months. It’s moving fast, and I’m enjoying learning a great deal from first-hand experience and others’ stories. Going Solo looks like a great opportunity to get first-hand feedback from like-minded people. I’m hoping to get a lot from this event.