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Welshpool consumers warned of VAT scam

Created on 03/12/2010 @ 11:35


Consumers in Welshpool are being urged to be wary of companies advertising ‘pay now and save on the VAT increase’ offers.
Powys County Council’s Trading Standards Service have joined forces with its trade body, the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), to issue the warning as the increase in VAT comes into effect in January.
Cllr Graham Brown, Board Member for Public Protection, said: “It might seem tempting to go for the money-saving option but before you hand your money over, protect yourself by carrying out checks. These checks will stop you getting involved in a potential scam, a company that could go bust, or that you are burdened with the VAT increase at the end.
“Consumers can protect themselves by carrying out research on any trader offering deals such as this, particularly if they are advertising on the internet. If you do decide to pay now, we advise you to pay using a credit card if the goods or service cost more than £100, as this means the credit card provider shares liability if the trader fails to fulfill the contract.”
Consumers are also advised that:
- if they pay the full amount for a product or service before January 4, then they will be charged VAT at 17.5%
- if they pay a deposit before January 4, and then the balance after that date, then they will be charged the 17.5% on the deposit but the 20% VAT on the balance
However, if consumers pay the full amount in advance, they run the risk of the trader disappearing with their money and not providing them with the goods or services they ordered or they could go bust between the time of order and the agreed delivery date.
Clive Jones, the council's Principal Trading Standards Officer, said: “Remember that the VAT increase is only about 2p in the pound. A shop that is holding off charging the VAT isn’t necessarily the cheapest. You can probably find much bigger savings if you take time to shop around.”
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