VAT Blog

Latest news, thoughts and articles from the world of VAT.

VAT and flipping dwellings

VAT and flipping dwellings One of the most common types of property developing is the practice of “flipping”; i.e. buying an existing dwelling, typically a house, renovating it and selling it.  Very often these deals are done within a relatively short timescale,...

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2019, VAT, Brexit and all that…

2019: VAT, Brexit and all that…. Well, here we are back again with Brexit on the news all the time  And in typical British style, it’s beginning to feel like a Monty Python sketch or at least a real, honest to goodness, British farce. HMRC has issued some guidance and...

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Management service charges for freehold dwellings

HMRC has recently issued guidance to confirm the VAT exemption for management services for freehold owners of residential property. One of the most confusing issues relating to property is the VAT liability of the care, maintenance and repair of "common" areas of...

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The Armistice Centenary – why are we still fighting?

Let me make this clear.  I am NOT a pacifist and understand that sometimes, in life, you have to fight for your beliefs, your family, your belongings, your life, the life of others and our country.  I would have done my duty for the country if necessary. But the thing...

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Renovations and the 5% VAT rate

The most common misunderstanding about VAT,  renovations and conversions is when you can get the 5% VAT rate for good and materials, so I thought that I'd try to clear up the confusion.  As I've explained below, there is a very important distinction depending on...

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Not another VAT newsletter: October edition

Brexit is only a few months away, but with no deal on the table yet, there is very little definitive information about the VAT implications for businesses.  HMRC has started writing to businesses with limited guidance so watch out for information, especially if you do...

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August newsletter 2018

Well it might have been hot and we might still be in the summer "silly season", but HMRC has been busy with new Business Briefs and information about Making Tax Digital. Revenue and Customs Briefs Revenue and Customs Brief 7 (2018) "VAT - motor dealer deposit...

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Company directors and VAT penalties

Did you know that company directors can be held personally liable for VAT penalties? If a company has made a deliberate error on a tax return (either a ‘deliberate not concealed’ error, or one that is ‘deliberate and concealed’), HMRC can reallocate up to 100% of the...

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Making tax digital for VAT

I recently saw an article reporting that HMRC has not yet prosectured any businesses who trade on Ebay, Amazon and other online platforms for VAT avoidance.  I don't know whether the report is true, but if so, I can only assume that part of the reason is the...

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Renovations and proving the 2 year “empty house” condition

Renovations and proving the 2 year “empty house” condition

Over the past few months, I've received a number of queries about property renovations and proving the 2 year "empty house" condition.  This is the rule that says a dwelling must have been unoccupied for at least 2 years, before contractors can charge the 5% reduced...

Yes please, say thank you!

This is a very quick post to make a very simple point. Every week, I answer queries, free of charge, from all sorts of people, both businesses and private individuals. So even if the query is quite complicated, if I can deal with it in an initial telephone call or...

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