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Govt to reassess tourist VAT

The Office for Budget Responsibility to to review the government’s 2020 decision to end VAT-free shopping for tourists.

The decision was driven by the high numbers of overseas visitors and concerns that the end of the scheme may have deterred travellers.

Richard Hughes, OBR chair, said: “I can commit to reviewing the original costing of this measure, including in the light of subsequent evidence on international visitor numbers and their consumption patterns and the analysis carried out by a number of outside bodies. We will undertake this analysis in the first months of 2024.”

The review will be published alongside the Spring Budget next month.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “We keep all taxes under review and recognise the value that retailers bring to Britain. That is why we announced a £4.3bn business rates package at Autumn Statement to support businesses and the high street.

“VAT-free shopping remains available for all non-UK visitors buying items in store and having them sent directly to their overseas address.”


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