March 22, 2012
Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer made an astonishing, and unexpected, announcement that will affect a significant number of owners of listed properties in the UK.
In short, the VAT relief that currently applies to alterations to listed buildings is being withdrawn with effect from 1 October 2012. The Chancellor described the existing relief as an ‘anomaly’, which “gives a perverse incentive for change as opposed to repair”. He also considers that the majority of the work covered by the relief consists of “extension work which is not necessary for heritage”. Admittedly, extensions currently qualify for VAT relief at present, but it does not give a true picture of the type of work that owners carry out, and which frequently qualify for relief.
Dave Brown, the LPOC’s VAT adviser commented “The majority of projects that I get involved with are simply restoration jobs – and with VAT at 20% being payable on these works in future, home owners are likely to ‘make do and mend’ – or else purchase non-listed buildings next time. The end result, unfortunately, is that many historic buildings will simply fall into a state of disrepair.
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