The Students’ Guild has confirmed to Exeposé that it owes £269,000 of unpaid taxes to the government, in addition to £14,000 interest on unpaid VAT (Value Added Tax). HM Revenue and Customs recently conducted a review which concluded that students should have been charged VAT on food at the Ram.
The Guild have not yet paid this debt, saying they “are challenging the assessment”. They have made a hardship request to the Government, arguing that having to pay the debt will be problematic.
A Guild spokesperson said: “The Students’ Guild does have sufficient cash in reserve to pay the debt however this will seriously erode our reserves.”
Students should have been charged VAT on food at the Ram.
The Guild’s yearly sales fell by over 10 per cent last year to just over £2.5 million. In their annual report, the Guild spokesperson had said that “trading has been particularly challenging,” with “significantly reduced numbers of attendees” at both the Ram and the Lemon Grove. They said they “expect to see an improvement in attendance” in the future.
The news comes after a restructuring process at the Guild, with Devon Live reporting in July that some staff may be made redundant.
In a statement provided at the time, the Guild confirmed that it was consulting its staff “about partially restructuring the organisation”, citing “financial challenges.”
Originally published in issue 702 of Exeposé, September 30th 2019.
Editor: Pete Syme