Thursday, 27 November 2014

Hodge Jones & Allen: Claiming VAT Relief for Disability Adaptations

Clients often describe the stress and anxiety that is involved when a property is being adapted for wheelchair use.  Hodge Jones & Allen work with professional architects who keep us updated with developments and this blog below by Steve Woodley at Wyvern Architects discusses one very important (and costly) point that can be overlooked when a property is being adapted.
Carrying out works to make a property suitable for a disabled person can be a costly experience.
Building costs, Architects/Surveyors fees and VAT all need to be carefully considered prior to work beginning on site.
It is important that you discuss the cost of the adaptation works with your chosen builder as soon as possible, as you may be able to claim VAT relief on part, if not all, of the proposed alterations.
HM Customs & Excise has produced a very helpful booklet entitled "VAT Reliefs for disabled people - notice 701/7 August 2002". Within this booklet the works which can be zero rated for VAT purposes are identified.
Although not exhaustive these works include the following:-
  • Constructing ramps.
  • Widening doorways or hallway/passage and the restoration of the immediate decor.
  • Constructing, extending or adapting a bathroom, washroom or lavatory provided the work is   necessary to suit the condition of a disabled person.
Where economy and feasibility dictate resulting in occupying the space which was previously part of another room then you may also claim VAT relief for restoring that room elsewhere in the building to its original size. For example, if you convert a bedroom into an especially adapted/equipped bathroom then you may also zero rate the supply of constructing a replacement bedroom as long as it is the same size as it was previously.
It must be appreciated that the VAT assessment is ultimately the responsibility of the building contractor and therefore discussions ought to be held before commencement of any works to agree the likely VAT liability. A VAT Eligibility Declaration will need to be signed and handed to the building contractor who will need to attach this with his VAT return. 

Steven Woodley
Wyvern Architects - Devizes Ltd

Simon O’Loughlin is a Partner and Solicitor at Hodge Jones & Allen

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