I read an article on the 5% VAT rate on renovations with interest, as I have purchased a property that has been unoccupied since 2017, and I have a letter from the Council's Empty Property Office to that effect. My question is whether the 5% rate extends to services provided by a design and build company (i.e., which assists with both the planning and construction works)? I can't see any specific reference in HMRC’s VAT pages online.
Arthur Weller replies
If you look at VAT Notice 708 Buildings & Construction, you can see it states (at 8.1.1) that the reduced rate of 5% VAT can be charged if renovating or altering an eligible dwelling that has not been lived in during the two years immediately before the work starts. However, at 8.4 it indicates that the provision of professional services (such as those provided by architects, surveyors, consultants and supervisors) must be standard rated.