Boarding pass revelations lead to new directives for airport retailers
Presenting your boarding pass for scanning in airport retailers has been revealed to be a way for them to pay less tax and nothing more, it has emerged.
17 August 2015 | 0
For years, it has been a normal part of flying for countless passengers: being requested to hand over your boarding card when making a purchase at an airport retailer. However, following a campaign in the UK, it has emerged that there has never been any such rule in place, and that he practice existed to help retailers avoid paying VAT on transactions carried out by those travelling outside the EU.
The revelations, once the information spread on the internet, led to a number of key retailers clarifying their policy on the matter. The criticism came coupled with the fact that many retailers were failing to pass this tax saving opportunity on to the customer.
The Independent in London called the practice a “scam”.
In the case of Dublin and Cork airports, Aer Rianta International said in a statement that passengers are only stricty required to present a boarding pass when purchasing alcohol and tobacco products; otherwise they may be requested but are under not obligation to do so.
Commenting on the matter, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said that Irish retailers need to be “very clear with their customers as to circumstances where they collect VAT on behalf of the State or where VAT is not charged.”
Following the row, WHSmith, Dixons and Boots issued new directives to staff clarifying that customers are not required to present their boarding pass at the checkout.