Part of the reason why so many people say this is their most expensive PCS and you get COLA is because of the many taxes you have to pay in the UK. Hopefully, This article will help you understand many of the taxes you’ll face coming to the UK so you can plan accordingly.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
This is Valued Added Tax, which I’ve never been like “ooh!” but it’s something we have to pay. The nice thing is that it’s already put into the cost of the item unlike the US. It’s basically a 20% tax on anything you buy unless it’s over a £100 total. If buy a £500 couch and the company you’re buying it from is okay with going through the VAT free process through your base, you don’t pay the 20% tax. It does cost a small fee depending on your rank and there is some coordination on your part, but it can save you a good chunk of money. Note, that if you spend £100 at the grocery store, it doesn’t count because it’s not a single item over that threshold.
This is the yearly tax you pay depending on the emissions of your vehicle. You can have the option to pay monthly but just make sure you pay because there are cameras everywhere. They will send you a Sorn penalty which is most likely more expensive then the cost of your road tax. If you have a vehicle not yet registered in the UK, you don’t pay road tax the first year. To register it the next year go to the Pass and Registration office or mail it in then you can pay it online the rest of you time in the UK.
Ministry of Transportation (MOT) Inspection
This makes sure your vehicle is safe and efficient enough to be on the road. Like the Road Tax, if you don’t pay you may have to pay a penalty. Shop around to make sure you’re not getting charged too much. We usually pay around £40 to £50.
Yes, you have to pay for TV! It’s not bad though, as it’s only about £100 a year. You have the option to pay it monthly, but again just pay the tax. The enforcement officer can come into your home to check if you have a TV or device to watch live TV. If they find the TV or a device you of course have to pay a (all together now!) fine. It can be up to £1000.
You don’t have to pay this. Yay! As a US military family, this is not a tax we should be paying. Just make sure you file your exepmtation with the housing council. This can usually be done through the base housing office with a simple letter they have for your specific council.