Rebuilding Wins Converts as Taxman Heads for the Door
Wilson, Mary, The Independent (London, England)
TURNING redundant commercial buildings into houses is never cheap, but thanks to a change in VAT rules it has become a little less expensive.
Prior to July this year, because of a number of inconsistencies in the VAT liabilities of buildings, the conversion of a non-residential building into a residential dwelling was subject to the full rate of 17.5 per cent. But since 21 July, conversions of buildings such as barns, chapels and factories have been zero-rated as long as they are done by individuals for their own use.
White goods - fridges, cookers or carpets - are still subject to 17.5 per cent VAT, but this tax can now be reclaimed on most forms of ventilation, burglar alarms, fire alarms and fire safety equipment.
Sheila Shane-Carter is an architect working in Leicestershire who has done several conversions, including her own chapel in Burton Overy near Leicester. She used a builder and separate sub-contractors to convert the chapel into an unusual four-bedroomed house with split-levels and balconies. She oversaw the project herself, which took about a year.
This was nine years ago and although VAT was slightly less onerous then at 15 per cent, the project - which cost pounds 50,000 - would have been a couple of thousand less under the new VAT rules.
Last year Miss Shane-Carter designed a barn conversion for one of her clients, Jean Chell who lives in Newtown …
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Publication information: Article title: Rebuilding Wins Converts as Taxman Heads for the Door. Contributors: Wilson, Mary - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: September 11, 1994. Page number: Not available. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.