You can apply to HMRC for a VAT refund on building materials and services if you are building a new home, or converting a property into a home. In order to qualify the home must be separate and self-contained, be for you or your family to live or holiday in, and not be for business purposes (although you can use one room as a work from home office). Builders working on new buildings should zero rate their work anyway and you won’t pay any VAT on their services.
Where there is an existing dwelling on the site you will normally need to demolish the existing building, however it will count as a new build where a single façade is retained if that is a condition of the planning consent. You may also claim a refund for builders’ work on a conversion of non-residential building into a home, or a residential building that hasn’t been lived in for at least 10 years.
When you make your claim you must supply a copy of the planning permission, a full set of building plans, the invoices – including tenders or estimations if the invoice isn’t itemised, and proof the building work is finished. Please contact us if you need advice or assistance on this or any other VAT matters.