Questions Of Cash: My camera came with unwanted extras

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The Independent Online

A. denies any wrongdoing. It says its terms and conditions said the goods would be subject to VAT on receipt. Brian Guilbert, head of trading standards in Guernsey, confirms this, but says because the terms were not obvious they may not have met legal requirements in England.

However, they did comply with Guernsey law. Royal Mail says the onus was on to report the non-receipt and recover the value., HM Revenue & Customs, Guernsey trading standards and the postal services have now agreed that all goods over the £18 threshold for paying VAT on goods bought from the Channel Islands will be sold VAT inclusive.

After an investigation by Guernsey trading standards, has now agreed to refund you in full.

Q. I was to travel to Spain last year with Brittany Ferries from Plymouth. Sailing was cancelled with two days notice. I was offered another sailing three days later. But after travelling to Plymouth with my family, this sailing was also cancelled. I was refunded the fare, but told accommodation losses must be claimed on my travel insurance. However my insurer Boots refused to pay, pointing out a clause in the policy stating "we will not pay any claim resulting from any ... company ...... being unable or unwilling to fulfil any part of their obligation to you".
IL, London.

A. This type of clause is standard. Without a settlement from Boots you pursued Brittany Ferries legally, presenting your case yourself - and won. Brittany Ferries is to pay you costs and compensation totalling about £4500.

Q. On February 7th I put £120 into my Yorkshire Bank branch. But my next statement did not show this. In my haste to report this I told Yorkshire I made the deposit with a cashier, but on reflection I think it may have been self-serve, which does not provide a receipt. I am certain I made the deposit. Yorkshire Bank refuses to acknowledge it was made.
PS, Leamington Spa

A. Yorkshire Bank has checked its records and reviewed its closed circuit tv tapes for the day you mention, the day before and the day after - but there is no sign of your money being paid in. Given your uncertainty you cannot expect to be given the benefit of the doubt.

Q. In June I bought a meal in Norway, using a Lloyds TSB card. When I received my statement I found that Lloyds TSB had charged me £1 for this - a charge it had instituted on 20th May without notice. On the same day Lloyds TSB also increased its fee for withdrawals from a cash machine abroad from £1.50 to £2.50.
AH, Gwent

A. "We started to contact customers about thecharge in March," says a Lloyds TSB spokeswoman. "All customers will have received a note on their statement. The charges appear clearly on statements." She adds the fee for cash withdrawals at foreign ATMs has now been capped at £4.50.

Q. My partner and I intend to register our partnership. We own a home in London and one in Canterbury. Though we co-own both, we have hitherto been able to buy and sell the second without capital gains tax, since as two single men we were deemed to have one each. This will change when we register our partnership. Will future capital gains tax on our second home be based on the difference between the eventual sale price and the original purchase price, or the valuation of the house at the time of the registration of our partnership?
DG, by email

A. Chris Barrington, tax partner at Jackson Stephen accountants, says: "The decision rests on whether the market will rise or fall. In December Civil Partnerships come into force, making same-sex couples eligible for the same tax benefits married couples enjoy, in terms of inter-spousal transfers of assets being free of either capital gains tax or inheritance tax. One downside is that married partners cannot generally have two different main residences for tax purposes. In the absence of a civil partnership, it should normally be possible for two unmarried individuals, sharing two homes, to enjoy private residence relief on both. You must ensure each home is indisputably treated as each respective individual's only or main residence.

Upon marriage the co-owners of two houses may elect one of their properties as their main residence, free from capital gains tax. The other property may be free from tax for three years, depending upon the circumstances."

You will need to determine after registration your principle private residence according to several factors, including which you expect to rise in value the most.

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