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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2020
    Looking for recommendations for a VAT accountant who can help us with a potentially disputed VAT reclaim for materials and services on a new build zero carbon home. Thanks.
    • CommentAuthorgoodevans
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2020 edited
    The rules for VAT reclaim for self build are different to VAT rules in general - so a regular accountant without experience of self build may not be in a good position to assist any more than anyone else who is prepared to read the rules.

    Is this a self build claim or is this a claim via a company build?

    Does the fact that this is a zero carbon home relevant to your arguments?

    Perhaps you can share the details of the potential dispute, I may be able to guide if it is a self build claim, I have read and retained many of the rules - as have many of the self builders here have also.
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2020
    You can reclaim VAT on materials that you buy for a new build. You can't reclaim VAT on services performed or on materials bought by somebody providing services because services and associated material supply are zero-rated for a new build. So you need to go back to the service supplier and get them to withdraw their invoice and reissue it with zero-rated VAT.

    You may need to (a) educate them as to the law, (b) persuade them to talk to their accountant to verify that they are safe to zero-rate, and (c) provide some statement or other evidence that the services are actually for a new build if that is not self-evident to them.

    And of course such services must be performed in the actual construction of the dwelling - you can't claim back or zero-rate VAT on services associated with the build but not actually part of it, such as architects, engineers etc.

    But YOU do not need an accountant to help. It's not a number-crunching problem, it's an appreciation of law problem. I suppose you might eventually need a solicitor if you fail to persuade a supplier to issue a correctly-rated invoice, but I never got that far.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2020
    A number of people on BuildHub have used Andrew Jones The Vatman (https://www.vat431.co.uk/) and found him good. Another which has been used successfully is https://vatrepayments.co.uk/ Those were for actually doing the reclaim but I imagine their services would extend to other closely related matters.
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2020
    Posted By: Ed DaviesA number of people on BuildHub have used Andrew Jones The Vatman (https://www.vat431.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" >https://www.vat431.co.uk/) and found him good. Another which has been used successfully ishttps://vatrepayments.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" >https://vatrepayments.co.uk/Those were for actually doing the reclaim but I imagine their services would extend to other closely related matters.

    I'm surprised you're recommending such sharks, Ed. Reclaiming VAT is pretty straightforward.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2020
    Maybe for you, others seem to have found the service valuable when knackered at the end of the build process. Doubt I'd use them myself as, as you say, it all looks pretty straightforward and it's probably cheaper to forgo the reclaim on a few marginal invoices than pay these people. Still, they might be able to help with the OP's problem, whatever it is. I'm just ATFQ, as they say.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2020
    Posted By: Ed DaviesI'm just ATFQ, as they say.
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2020
    DJH, as Ed has said, quite a few have used VAT reclaim agents who specialises in self build VAT. Some have stated they are overwhelmed with the boxes of invoices and receipts and simply want someone to do the leg work for them, for others the rigid Submission deadline is just the final straw.
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2020
    Thanks Steve, Ed - I've learned something. Apologies if I was over-critical.

    For the benefit of anybody trying to avoid the need to pay somebody, the steps I remember are:
    (1) Make sure you reasonably understand the rules before you start
    (2) Make sure you get a VAT invoice for everything that you need one for (which step 1 tells you)
    (3) File the invoices (I used to put them in a pile and my wife tidied and organised them) (there's two purposes (a) so you can refer to them if there's a dispute with the supplier (b) so they're ready for the VAT claim)
    (4) At the end, make a spreadsheet listing all the invoices and number the invoices to correspond
    (5) Fill out the rest of the claim form
    (6) Submit the form, spreadsheet and invoices to the VAT man
    (7) Wait for the lovely cheque
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2020
    Thanks all, I have no problem making a standard VAT reclaim. I need specialist advice on a claim due to our planning conditions.
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2020
    Plus points for being mysterious :bigsmile:

    It sounds like you may need a lawyer rather than an accountant. Although the questions on the form seem fairly clear to me.
    • CommentAuthorsnyggapa
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2020
    I had to make a retrospective application for a knock-down and rebuild (an extension that turned into a bigger job than it should and neighbours complained to the planners).

    Luckily I managed to sweet-talk the planners into putting in some words that make the rebuild application effective from some date the past - otherwise I would not have been able to vat reclaim for the materials used even though I had to comply with all of the modern regs as a result.

    Fortunately my reclaim was seamless in the end
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2020
    I need specialist advice on a claim due to our planning conditions.

    Can you tell us what the conditions say? I can't claim to be an expert but I did my own reclaim and I've seen or read of quite a few cases. Perhaps I've seen it before.

    For example there was a house built with a condition that precluded "separate occupation". The condition was removed half way through the build. Only VAT paid after the condition was removed was allowed to be reclaimed.
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