Holiday taxes add £131 to typical family getaway

Jake Cordell
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Before you've even taken off, UK holiday makers have already been hit with a £61 tax bill (Source: Getty)

A plethora of holiday taxes can add more than £130 to the typical family summer getaway, research by the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has found.

A combination of Air Passenger Duty (APD), the Insurance Premium Tax and the cost of VAT on holiday essentials such a sun cream and swimming costumes, sets vacationers back an extra £61.12 per adult on a trip to Europe.

For a family of four, which includes two children under the age of 16 - who are exempt from APD - that takes the tax bill of a holiday to a popular EU destination such as Spain, Greece or Portugal, to more than £131.

For destinations outside the EU, a higher rate of APD apples, meaning families are hit "with a staggering £253.20 tax bill," for a trip to Florida, for instance, the TPA said.

Read more: Here's what Brexit could mean for your tax bill

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TPA said the taxman was "chasing" families "all the way to the departure gate to squeeze that little bit extra from their budgets."

The TPA called for APD to be scrapped to ease the burden on UK sun-seekers, who may already have been stung by the sharp depreciation of sterling since the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Retailers have also been in holiday makers' bad books over the past few years for failing to pass on VAT savings for customers travelling outside the EU at purchases made in airport terminals.

Read more: Brits spend 10 per cent of salary on holidays

Instead, some shops, which have to verify a traveller's destination by checking their boarding pass, charged everybody the same amount and pocketed the VAT refunds they then received from the Treasury.

Last month WH Smith became the latest outlet to change its policy, pledging to take VAT off the value of goods sold to people flying outside the EU and to stop forcing customers to show their boarding cards when making a purchase.

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