By default VAT is levied on all construction apart from the new-build of dwellings.

VAT is not based upon Common Sense nor Logic – but rather a set of pedantic and often, illogical, rules and criteria.

The affordability of a scheme is often therefore jeopardised when client’s realise their (or worse your) VAT assumptions are undeliverable……

  • New builds that fail the demolition test
  • New builds that fail the planning tests
  • Uninhabitable properties that are not ’empty’
  • Where a planning ‘win’ under CPD is an automatic failure for VAT

Therefore we need to establish precisely and accurately what the true VAT position is from the very outset, and what you can do to influence said outcome – is it curtailed by the (proposed) D&A wording or planning submission, does the client know the negative impact of ‘client supplied’ items,  should the Gantt chart be amended to enhance VAT savings?

Whether these are used to make a scheme viable in the first place or are used to limit unforeseen variations are applicable on a project by project basis.

We can work with you to provide your clients with the following:


What form of VAT saving is applicable, are the specific criteria met and to what precise extent does it apply.


It is not uncommon for clients and Contractors to fall out (!); arguing over VAT need not be another reason….


Our audits are binding – in the unlikely event HMRC found fault our full indemnity insurance would cover any fine or penalty levied.


Does it add a string to your bow to give an accurate indication of potential VAT savings at the outset? Were your clients aware that purchasing materials directly is not always the best option and can result in an unnecessary VAT burden?

CPD Training for Design Professionals

Another important common oversight is indemnity insurance cover. Are you even permitted to provide VAT advice (however informal it may seem)? Are you absolutely comfortable with the components of a scheme that will always be Standard Rated? Are you being inadvertently misled by the falsehood of ‘fixed’ or ‘installed’ items?


You can contact our Free VAT Helpline 24 hours a day using the online form or email

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