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VAT on listed properties

Posted on August 16, 2012 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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