Tag Archives | VAT

Desperate times – but beware of really desperate measures

The country is in the crapper at the moment. Everyone is wondering what they can do differently to maybe make more money, or cut their costs, or do something so completely different that they can get through the current difficulties until our government does something – or the rest of the world recovers (whichever comes first).

I’ve been noticing recently that there seems to be a larger than usual number of conferences and workshops and training courses and so on focused on how to help businesses and employees and anyone who’s willing to pay the fee through the current difficulties.

These courses will promise to cut your costs, improve your marketing and sales efforts, motivate your staff, revamp your technology, and all sorts of other good things.

And there in is what I have a problem with – paying the fee. I have a concern that many of these courses are preying on the vulnerabilities of people who are in trouble, or who are worried about the future, and offering them snake oil solutions at a fee.

If see one of these course that you think might be useful for you, check out first who’s behind it, what their skills and backgrounds are, and get some testimonials on how they’ve performed in the past.

Make sure you can benefit from paying out the money and make sure that you can’t find out that information for free somewhere else first (books and the internet should be your first place to look).

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Getting Quotes for work – what’s the story with the VAT?

I’m guessing that most people know this fact, but I’ll put it before you again – shops and service providers when quoting prices, fees or charges, must give their total price which must include all applicable charges and taxes.

I only bring this up now after a couple of recent experiences where, as an individual consumer, I have requested quotes for services from two different companies – in two different lines of work. Yet both of these companies have quoted me a price which was non-inclusive of VAT in the first instance of my speaking to them.

According to the Citizens Information website, the Prices and Charges (Tax-Inclusive Statements) Order, 1973 requires that all prices marked on goods or prices displayed or quoted at the retail level and all charges for services displayed or quoted should be tax-inclusive (e.g. VAT) except where it is intended solely for a business customer.

On each occasion, I was contacting these people in a personal capacity and using a personal e-mail address – there could be no confusion that this could be in any way related to Value Ireland.

The first business that did this to me lost out on business because of it. They were expensive from the start, but a price I was willing to pay for their service – but with 21% VAT added, I couldn’t justify the expense any further.

The second business, I’m still following up with.

Lesson learned: Even though service providers are supposed to be quoting you a price inclusive of VAT, always confirm that this is the case before making any decisions. The simple question, “and does that price include all VAT and other charges” will reduce the potential for any confusion in the future.

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