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VAT plan could hit Dartmouth shopkeepers

Some shopkeepers could end up facing a huge hike in their rents as Dartmouth councillors try to save taxpayers’ money by slashing the council’s VAT bills.
The town council reckons it can save the town tens of thousands of pounds on VAT if it ‘opts to VAT’ for its Old Market and Butterwalk property portfolio.
But that means it will have to started adding VAT on to the rent it charges its tenants – which would mean a 20 per cent increase.
Business which are already VAT registered will be able to claim the extra cash back – but the rest will have to swallow the bill. And because many of the units in the Old Market are small, many of the 19 businesses there are not likely to be big enough to be VAT registered – and will have to find something like another £600 a year in rent.
The town’s finance committee was all for going for the VAT option right away – despite concerns about its impact on the small businesses.

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