Prior to 2012, works that were both ‘approved’ and were ‘alteration’ in nature were eligible for the zero rate of VAT.
Any work – however extensive – that was for the purpose of repair, maintenance or renewal (or did not require formal Listed Building Consent) could never be zero rated.
We therefore had the situation where VAT relief benefited those owners undertaking alterations or changes to a listed building, but owners restoring or repairing such a building suffered the full VAT charge. Whereas there may have been historical circumstances where such an approach was valid, it had little room in the current economic climate and did little to encourage the restoration or protection of heritage buildings.
The VAT relief for Listed Building has expired for good and there are no circumstances where works can be zero rated due to a buildings historical listing.
What other alternatives exist?
The removal of the zero rate does not affect the other lower rates.
From this point forward, from a VAT perspective, the fact that a building is Listed has become wholly irrelevant.
From this point forward – from a VAT perspective – the fact that a domestic building is Listed has become wholly irrelevant.
Listed Churches can however still utilise the Listed Place of Workship scheme – see ‘Ecclesiastical’ for more details.
You can contact our Free VAT Helpline 24 hours a day using the online form or email firstname.lastname@example.org