The zero rating of “approved alterations” to Listed buildings has been scrapped in the March 2012 budget. It was described as a “perverse incentive” to alter Listed Buildings and of course it was.
It would have been much better if repairs to Listed Buildings had been zero rated as an incentive to keep them in good repair or a zero or lower rate applied to all building repairs. The zero rating of new houses remains another perverse incentive to build new houses rather than conserve old ones. Come on government, stop paying lip service to Sustainability.
This change to the VAT rules slashes away, at a single stroke, a “Frankenstein’s Monster” of regulation and case law. We will not lament its passing although, at 20% VAT is an absolutely punitive impost on anyone doing work on existing building and must act as a severe discouragement to anyone taking on an old house. There are still, however, some ways of getting the tax down in some circumstances and for anyone who has already commenced a listed building project maximising the VAT saving is still well worth while.
Here is the HMRC announcement:
Nobody knows more about VAT than this guy:
French Duncan Chartered Accountants
375 West George Street
Glasgow G2 4LW
Tel: 0141 221 2984
Mob: 07872 964492
Fax: 0141 221 2980