At what point does our renovation count as a new build?

17 February 2022
by Anna Cao

We are renovating a 60s bungalow. The original plan was a rear extension and a few dormer windows but, as these things go, it has since been discovered that the roof needed removing, heightening and rebuilding; the floors have all needed to be removed; and chimney and rear wall completely demolished.

We are left with the front wall, about 1/2 of the two side walls and a handful of internal dividers.

At what point can this be considered an actual new build? Considering the escalating costs, it would be great to claw some back via VAT

2 Answers

  1. Anamika Talwaria says:

    Hello Anna,

    Thank you for your question. I’ve posed this to our experts and hope to have an answer for you soon.

    Anamika Talwaria, Build It Features Editor

  2. Kathy Tisdale says:

    The first step would be is go back to your local council’s planning department. Explain your situation and ask how they would view an application for a new build. They may or may not require one or more facades to be kept.

    If so, to reclaim the VAT you need to comply with VAT Notice 708:

    3.2.4 Evidence required for retention of facades
    In order for zero rating to apply, a facade (or 2 facades in the case of a corner site) must be retained as a condition or requirement of a statutory planning consent or similar permission.
    Planners may include this requirement as a condition within their planning consent letter. HMRC will also accept evidence that the planning authorities have seen an application with plans showing that a facade is to be retained and that approval has been granted for construction to proceed on that basis.
    Once planning approval has been granted the construction must proceed in accordance with the submitted plans and from that point they become the ‘condition or requirement’.

    Kathy Tisdale (Self Build VAT Reclaims)

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