Friday, 17 January 2014

VAT is the worst tax of all #974

Because it is so inherently f-ing snobby.

From The Evening Standard:

A world-renowned bellydancing teacher today revealed her dismay at being forced to pay a £52,000 VAT bill after tax inspectors ruled that her art was recreational, not educational…

Miss Cheruvier, who runs the Fleur Estelle Belly Dance School, fought to overturn the assessment, but has had her case thrown out at a tax tribunal.

She said bellydancing was a "serious and systematic course of study" and that she should be given the same VAT exemption as private tutors in subjects such as maths and English.

However, Judge Edward Sadler ruled that her private tuition was "recreational" rather than "educational" and was therefore not exempt from VAT…

He said: "Most forms of dance are inherently recreational, that is, for the enjoyment and satisfaction of the participants rather than for their intellectual development.

"A form of dance may move from the recreational to the educational where it is studied in the context of its history, cultural background and relevance, artistic aspirations and achievements, and critical appraisal."

9 comments:

Bayard said...

How the hell did education manage to get an exemption from VAT. Oh, wait, public schools....

Lola said...

"He said: "Most forms of dance are inherently recreational, that is, for the enjoyment and satisfaction of the participants rather than for their intellectual development. I think he's on 'shaky' ground there....

Aaaaghhhhh...

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, the question is not "why did certain things get an exemption?" but "how did some people get away with imposing VAT on everybody else?"

VAT is not the natural order of things, it is imposed by a small group of privileged insiders on "everybody else" (in order to cut their own tax bills).

I'm all in favour of private schools being VAT exempt, but that's because I want everybody and everything to be VAT exempt.

L, you've lost me.

Kj said...

Interesting thing when I search for "abolish VAT" or "reduce VAT" in my own language, I get only "abolish VAT on ", not a single that says it full stop. Everyone´s in for a little special treatment. Annoys me.

The Stigler said...

I'm sure that every little girl gets taught about the history of ballet at ballet schools, including how the Paris Ballet was basically an escort agency in the 19th century showing off courtesans.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Kj, good point and annoys me too.

TS, do they? I asked and ballet schools are probably not VAT-exempt either. Maybe it's not snobby enough - only going to the see a ballet in the theatre is snobby.

The Stigler said...

Mark,

Hey, ballet isn't snobby! Put it on the TV and almost any little girl from any background will be transfixed by it. Doesn't float my boat much, although watching athletic 20 year old women without much on in't entirely intolerable.

It's people who think certain entertainment is better than others that's snobbery.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, I didn't say that "ballet on the TV" was snobby, I said that "going to see a ballet in the theatre" is snobby.

So it gets all sorts of lovely subsidies like opera.

The Stigler said...

Mark,

Not really - it's something that works better as a live performance. In my opinion it's the same with opera and football (but I prefer to watch a movie than go to see a play).

But I'm dead against the subsidies. If people like something they can pay for it. Cinema's a much more efficient form of storytelling than theatre - you can buy a DVD of Much Ado about Nothing for a fiver, instead of £60 for two theatre tickets.