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Value Added Tax


tThe financial benefit of building your own house is commonly quoted as one of the reasons people first decide to ‘Self-Build’. It’s not just the material cost savings that are advantageous however. There is also a significant saving available through VAT refunds. If you are constructing a new building, you may be able to claim back the VAT paid on the building materials used in the construction of your home - bricks, joinery, plumbing, tiles etc. - practically everything that forms a permanent part of the structure. To understand exactly what you can and cannot claim for, contact your local VAT Office and request a copy of their booklet “VAT refunds for ‘do-it-yourself’ builders and converters”, also known as VAT Notice 719. If you have any questions not answered by the booklet, it is always worth ringing the office for advice. There are some peculiar exceptions, for example burglar alarms qualify, but door bells do not!

A VAT invoice must show the supplier’s VAT registration number and the price and description of the goods or services you have bought. If the total is more than £100 your name and address must also be included on the invoice. Haldane Fisher invoices include all this information as a matter of course.

You can only claim your VAT refund once, so it is important to keep careful records, as forgotten items cannot be claimed at a later date. Keeping all your invoices together certainly makes life easier when you finally complete your claim form. New buildings intended for use as a dwelling are normally eligible for a VAT refund. Conversions completed since 21 July 1994 are eligible provided that the previous use of the dwelling has been non residential (such as barns or disused railway stations). Oddly, you may also claim for a building which was a residential establishment before 1st April 1973, as long as it has not been used as one since.

Members of the accounts department at Haldane Fisher will be pleased to help with any queries you may have about vat or anything else relating to your account…

The VAT authorities guarantee payment within 30 days of receiving your completed forms - provided that

there are no queries relating to your application.

National VAT Advice Centre Tel: 0845 010 9000

For your local office look under “Customs and Excise” in the phone book