Argos - VAT Refund

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I purchased a riser / recliner chair from Argos on behalf of my 94 yr old mother and subsequently submitted all the paperwork to Argos Accounts Dept (taxdept@argos.co.uk). The chair was purchased on the 31st December 2019 and the claim was submitted within 7 days. I heard nothing after 4-weeks so I resubmitted the claim with a covering message. Again a month went by so I rang Argos Helpline to ask for a contact number for taxdept@argos.co.uk and was told “they don’t have a number for that department as they don’t speak to the public” and they could not help me on this type of enquiry!
So I resubmitted the claim again with a stronger covering note - and after 4-weeks nothing. I then (out of frustration) looked on google for a helpline number again and foolishly rang the Argos 0845 number and held on for 45 mins before I hung up - which cost me £7.50 on my most recent bill.

I am so frustrated as this is a claim in the name of my mother - she is entitled to the £50 vat repayment but I just don’t know what to do next - any ideas? 

Thank you in advance.

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  • cattie
    cattie Posts: 8,841 Forumite
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    I know when I purchased a shower cubicle from a supplier, I needed to sign the vat paperwork at the time of ordering to state that it was being purchased by a disabled person, so the price that I paid was free of vat. This might have been an easier option for you if possible.

    The only thing I can suggest here is for you to contact your local MP to see if intervention by him/her will bring the required result.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
  • whizzywoo
    whizzywoo Posts: 702 Forumite
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    edited 17 May 2020 at 2:03PM
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    Just had quick look on Argos website and it says 
    "A reclining chair may make sitting more comfortable if you have a health condition, but it would not be eligible for a VAT refund as it’s not specially designed to support any condition."

    https://www.argos.co.uk/help/faq/72596

    EDIT:  Just realised that you bought a rising / reclining chair and it says that these ARE eligible.
    "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  :) 
  • ianpalmer2007
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    Thanks for the input. I was aware before I purchased the chair that this was the way the Argos system worked and to be fair there seemed to be a number of happy Customers who had received their vat refund after purchasing one of these chairs. It seems that your “claim” is just sent to HMRC by Argos and they (HMRC) then send “Mum” a cheque. I also understand that as Argos are not making anything out of this they just want to pass it on as seamlessly as possible. However what perplexes me is if something goes wrong and HMRC are the bottleneck - and Argos won’t speak to me (or anyone who makes one of these claims) to provide me with a reference number for the claim - how can I contact HMRC to see if they have received it and what the problem is? Very frustrating!
  • whizzywoo
    whizzywoo Posts: 702 Forumite
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    Thanks for the input. I was aware before I purchased the chair that this was the way the Argos system worked and to be fair there seemed to be a number of happy Customers who had received their vat refund after purchasing one of these chairs. It seems that your “claim” is just sent to HMRC by Argos and they (HMRC) then send “Mum” a cheque. I also understand that as Argos are not making anything out of this they just want to pass it on as seamlessly as possible. However what perplexes me is if something goes wrong and HMRC are the bottleneck - and Argos won’t speak to me (or anyone who makes one of these claims) to provide me with a reference number for the claim - how can I contact HMRC to see if they have received it and what the problem is? Very frustrating!
    I'm not sure that that's the way it works.  I used to be involved in completing VAT returns for clients but it's a few years ago now and my firm dealt with the accounts of two or three different companies who made supplies to disabled people.  Namely motability scooters and motorhomes.

    Normally the customer fills out the form just as you have done.  This form allows the retailer to zero rate that item, so that they don't actually charge the customer the VAT.

    The form is not sent to HMRC.  The retailer keeps the form along with their other VAT records.  Then if they are subjected to visit from the VAT man they have the necessary proof for selling an item at zero rate instead of the normal standard rate of VAT.

    I'm pretty sure that it's not HMRC who send the cheque to you unless things have changed, which I doubt very much.  Why would HMRC get involved in potentially hundreds of thousands of VAT claims on disabled items and be sending cheques to individual people?  That's not the way HMRC works.  The retailer, in this case Argos, makes a bookkeeping adjustment on their system and Argos refunds the VAT to you.
    "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  :) 
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,332 Forumite
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    HMRC do not repay VAT.Argos do it as stated here
    https://www.argos.co.uk/help/faq/72596

    If your claim is accepted, we will send you a refund via cheque. Most refunds are processed within 10 working days, although some claims can take longer.


  • ianpalmer2007
    ianpalmer2007 Posts: 98 Forumite
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    edited 17 May 2020 at 3:35PM
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    Thanks - so if 3 times - I have sent in the forms, with her signature and also with a photo of her “Argos receipt” for the riser / recliner. Not sure what else I can do?
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,512 Forumite
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    Are Argos on any social media? It seems to be a quicker way of getting a response from many companies nowadays, especially Twitter because it's so public.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,716 Forumite
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    I wonder if the issue is because you purchased it rather than your mother.


    Life in the slow lane
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,512 Forumite
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    I wonder if the issue is because you purchased it rather than your mother.


    No, if it's purchased on behalf of someone eligible for VAT relief it still counts. You put the eligible person's name on the form, as it appears OP did ('claim in the name of my mother').
  • magsirl
    magsirl Posts: 219 Forumite
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    edited 23 May 2020 at 7:09PM
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    Try sending an email to the CEO 
    https://ceoemail.com

    Look for CEO Argos.
    His Emailis-      mike.coupe@sainsburys.co.uk
    I had a problem with Argos previously and sent an email to the CEO and I included my phone number. I receive a call from a lovely lady on his behalf. She was extremely helpful and sorted everything out very quickly for me. Worth a try after all you have been through. Hope you get it sorted soon.
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