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Blog Archives: August 2012

VAT Update – Listed Buildings

Posted on by Forde George

Thanks to LPOC

The Finance Bill 2012 was approved by MP’s last Tuesday and VAT on approved alterations will now be removed from the 1st October this year, however there were three major alterations as a result of our efforts together with those of other organisations; i.e.:

1. Providing owners had applied for Listed Building Consent before 21st March this year zero rating will still apply for approved alterations (originally work had to have been started or a written contract in place before 21st March)

2. Owners now have until 1st October 2015 to complete the work instead of 1st October this year.

3. The government have increased their grant scheme for repairs and alterations to places of worship by £30m stating it will provide 100% compensation to listed places of worship.

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Posted on by Forde George

Another fascinating day for Forde George? Afraid not; repairs to HMS Victory, Historic docks, Plymouth.

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Queen visits Forde George!

Posted on by Forde George

Would you believe it!?
The Queen came to Exeter today amongst other things to congratulate Forde George on Six years of quality Building Surveying provision in the South West and beyond.;-)

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VAT on listed properties

Posted on by Forde George

I’m sure you will already know that there was a nasty little surprise hidden away in the Budget 2012 documents about the removal of the zero rate of VAT on approved alterations to listed buildings. If you haven’t seen the details they are available in the consultation document on ‘addressing borderline anomalies’ in the VAT system:, and also in the Budget’s policy costing document (pages 37-38):

To fight this unfair move, we have joined forces with 20 other similar organisations including the Federation of Master Builders, SPAB, Georgian Society etc.

Unfortunately Government has only given us until the 4th May to respond to these plans and therefore time is critical. May I ask you to do two things if you agree that the VAT law should remain unchanged? First could you look at the e-petition at and register your view.

Additionally can you ask your friends and neighbours to register as well? Secondly can you write to your MP objecting to the change? If you are unsure of your MP’s name it is published on you can also find a draft of a suitable letter here: During the past week we have spoken to many members and it has been suggested that we use the situation to seek change of the VAT rules to zero rate repairs and maintenance but unfortunately this is not possible under European law. There is a full European campaign to have all work on listed buildings rated at 5% but this is a separate issue and we shall revert to this at a later date.

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Easter Break

Posted on by Forde George

The Easter break often brings a quiet period; fewer calls and instructions but on the upside, quieter roads – this countered however by the proliferation of roadworks.

This quieter period does enable paper and office work to be completed: a couple of projects out to render and specifications for a fire rebuild and for a new heritage centre to be progressed.

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VAT on listed buildings

Posted on by Forde George

Its been another fascinating day for Forde George.

Well VAT will not only still be due on essential repairs to Listed properties but it will now apply to alterations as well.  Perversely the argument for the change has been the lack of incentive to repair rather than alter – so why not introduce the zero rating for repair? thanks to the LPOC for the following information:
Following the budget last week and with particular reference to VAT and Listed Buildings, our tax advisor is telling us that:

The basic position is that all work carried out prior to 1 October will still benefit from zero rating, where applicable.   Work carried out thereafter will be liable to VAT at 20%.   There are, however, a couple of variations/conditions:

Any work, for which the contract has been placed, prior to 21st March 2012, will still be zero rated up until 21 March 2013.

There will be anti-avoidance measures put in place, such that if someone invoices work in September (no VAT), but carries out the work after 1 October, HMRC will be able to charge 20% on that work.  This would also apply if someone simply placed a deposit prior to October for work carried out afterwards.

Works unaffected that still qualify for the 5% VAT rate:

Empty for 2 years prior to work starting.

Converting a property from two dwellings into one, or vice versa.  In fact any conversion resulting in a different number of dwellings.  Best  example was one where a staff flat, which was not needed, all repair/refurb work changed from 20% to 5% VAT.

Converting from commercial use to residential use.

Also unaffected will be ‘Self build’ claims. (VAT refund scheme for properties empty for 10 years  or more, or subject to a commercial to residential conversion.)

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