Forum

Building work VAT exemption

I’m looking at getting some building work done and am not sure whether it can be VAT exempt, hoping someone here can help.

I’ve a corridor that opens into a room and the opening goes round a corner. If I didn’t have PPMS I’d simply be putting a door on it and redecorating. However, because my PPMS has affected my walking badly I’m also bearing in mind that I may need an indoor wheelchair later in life, so would like to do the work now to remove the corner to widen the opening (which will need an RSJ), get a door on and then redecorate. My front door is narrow, so this would then allow me to access the house in a wheelchair as I could come in through the wider back door.

I realise the door and decorating would never be VAT exempt, but am not sure whether I can claim VAT exemption to widen the opening. I don’t need a wheelchair now and optimistically may never need one - but on the other hand, my walking has been badly affected in five years of this illness so it seems a reasonable assumption that I will need one in the next 10-20 years. The bungalow is perfect for this illness in other respects, so I doubt I’ll be moving.

Has anyone had experience of claiming VAT exemption for an alteration that anticipates their future needs? Or do you have to wait until the horse has bolted before you can claim one?

All thoughts on the subject appreciated, I don’t want to claim what I’m not entitled to.

The door could be VAT exempt if it’s wider than normal to allow for a wheelchair.

There’s a guide on the gov.uk site:

it might help. The problem I’ve often encountered is that individual companies don’t have a form for VAT exemption so I’ve had to provide one, that I’ve taken from the gov site. The other thing is that my builder is not himself VAT registered, so he pays VAT on building materials to do a job, then of course passes the costs on to me. I’ve had to swallow some of this because unless you are the person buying the VATable item, the exemption can’t be claimed. And my builder is a one man band so supposedly cheaper than a big company!!

I’m not sure if you can claim VAT exemption for a potential disability, I’d say not, but have a look at the guidance and see what you think.

Sue