Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Airport VAT: should you kick up a fuss?

The Government is annoyed that some airport shops are failing to pass on VAT discounts to passengers heading for countries outside the EU. Question is, if you're travelling to one of those destinations, should you kick up a fuss? You could at least refuse to show your boarding card when requested as a measure of protest. Bet your bottom dollar they'll give you a disingenuous answer if you ask why they need to. The shop needs to see the pass in order to claim back the VAT. Why should it get the benefit? After all, the Government says the relief is supposed to go to the purchaser rather than the vendor. I find it a bit hard to believe the claim it would be impossibly complicated to charge passengers to Morocco, say, 20% less for the same item than those flying to Spain. But if retailers were forced into line by passenger power, that would raise a further question. Would they simply up prices overall to reflect the loss of what many travellers will see as an unfair windfall. This may just be one of those battle the consumer can't win.

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