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HMRC internal manual

VAT Retail schemes guidance

Introduction: Roles and responsibilities


VAT: general enquiries

VAT: general enquiries deals with telephone and written enquiries about VAT and excise matters. For example

  • requests for copies of of public notices
  • routine enquiries concerning the VAT treatment of goods intended for export from the EU or removal to another Member State.

Contact details for VAT; general enquiries are available on the following link


Retail Unit of Expertise (UoE)

The Retail UoE is your first port of call with any retail questions.

The UoE

  • provides a helpdesk for departmental colleagues with technical queries
  • provides a link between VAT assurance staff and the policy team
  • supports the policy team by providing advice and contributing to policy issues
  • contributes to training matters

The UoE will deal with simple queries by telephone. If you do resolve the problem by telephone, make a note of the significant details and the advice received in the trader’s electronic folder. You can also refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section on the UoE website or you can write to the UoE using the email address shown on their website.

VAT Policy team

The VAT Supply policy team is responsible for the VAT Retail Schemes.

The team is the policy maker for the Retail Schemes.


If you are seeking policy advice on a particular case you should submit either a General Advice Request or a Technical Advice Request. Please see VPOLADV for more information. All requests for advice must be first referred to the UoE who will advise if the question needs to be forwarded.

Policy teams do not deal directly with the public and the public should not be referred to them.