Currently, BT’s retail charge caps for calls to these numbers include a fixed allowance for VAT at 17.5% but do not allow for increases in VAT levels to be reflected in prices charged to customers.
Ofcom has today decided that the charge caps for these numbers will be set to exclude VAT, with the new VAT-exclusive prices set at the current level less VAT at 17.5%. The maximum retail prices BT will then be able to charge for these numbers will be calculated by applying VAT to the charge cap at whatever the VAT rate is at the time.
This will enable prices to change in line with the increase to VAT on 4 January 2011. The aim of this amendment is to bring the impact of VAT charges on these numbers into line with all other goods and services.
The statement also makes changes to the Numbering Plan, General Condition of Entitlement 17, the Premium Rate Service (PRS) Condition and all the telephone numbering application forms, which communications providers must complete when applying for telephone numbers from Ofcom. These changes are to ensure that the documents remain accurate and reflect current numbering policy in a consistent manner.
The change to the PRS Condition will ensure that 0843/4 numbers are not included in the definition of 'Controlled Premium Rate Services' as an unintended consequence of the increase in VAT.
No changes to policy or administrative measures have been made as result of the revised documents.
Ofcom’s statement can be found at: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/telephone-numbering/statement
The modified numbering documents have also been published today on Ofcom’s website.
Ofcom will consult on the detail of the WLR charge control separately in early 2011.