Our website uses cookies to enhance the visitor experience (what's a cookieCookies are small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit a website. They are mainly used as a way of improving the website functionalities or to provide more advanced statistical data.). Are you happy for us to use cookies during your visits?
Please note: continuing without making a choice equates to giving us your consent, which you can withdraw at any time via our cookies policy page.

VAT Problem for House Builders

Newsletter issue - November 08.

In the present climate where house builders are stuck with properties they can't sell, they may be tempted to rent them out.

However, when building firms rent out newly built homes instead of selling them, this can cause VAT problems. This is because new residential properties are zero rated for VAT and letting residential property is exempt from VAT. The amount of VAT charged to the buyer in both cases is the same: nil, but the seller's ability to reclaim VAT on its costs is not. Briefly you can reclaim VAT on costs associated with something you sell which carries zero-rate VAT, but you can't reclaim the VAT when the thing you sell is exempt from VAT.

Where your business has only a small proportion of VAT exempt sales, you may be able to ignore the ban on reclaiming VAT, if the VAT relating to the exempt sales is less than both:

  • £7,500 per year; and
  • 50% of the business's VAT on purchases for the year

Working out how much of the VAT you paid relates to the new properties which are let is not straight-forward. The total amount of VAT on the purchases that relate to those buildings must be spread over 10 years. If the properties are let for say 2 years before they are sold then 2/10ths of the VAT on the costs is regarded as relating to exempt sales. If this total is within the limits shown above, you have no VAT problem.

However, in real life the calculations are rarely that simple. If you are forced to let newly-built residential property please ask us to check your VAT position.

  • Auto enrolment icon

    Auto Enrolment

    Workplace pensions rules are changing.
    Be prepared for auto enrolment, see how we
    can help and read up on our guidance notes.

    More

  • Cloud accounting icon

    Cloud Accounting

    With our online bookkeeping packages, our support
    services are only a click away.
    Discover cloud accountancy solutions to bring your finances up to date.
    More

  • Pay less tax icon

    Pay Less Tax

    Our experienced tax advisors can help you
    make the most of your options to reduce
    your tax bills.

    More

  • Make more profit icon

    Make More Profit

    From business plans to management accounts,
    our business services will ensure you are in
    control of your business finances.

    More

  • Source finance icon

    Source Finance

    Our experienced partners can guide you
    in getting the finance you need to make
    your business grow. Read our guides or
    contact us for a free consultation.
    More

  • Outsource your payroll icon

    Outsource Your Payroll

    Let us handle payroll compliance for your
    business. We can deal with HMRC on your
    behalf, and take the stress out of RTI.

    More