rgdrumming

Is VAT reclaim required straight after building control completion

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My question is regarding VAT (the VAT office phone line as others have reported is not working). 
 

My wife and I would like to move into our property before it is totally finished as we have a newborn baby. Once building control have signed the property off, is that what VAT reclaim consider to be “completion” as I still will need to do stuff like finishing the driveway, decorating etc which are all VAT refundable?

 

On a side note - can anyone recommend an insurance company who will insure the property with us living in it before it is building control completed but has gas and electric signed off?

 

I really appreciate any replies that can help us. As ever, the government don’t make it easy! 

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This is a difficult question. 

 

Several years ago, HMRC quietly changed its practice from always giving claimants three months from the completion certificate date, to undertaking a multi-factorial assessment including factors such as date of last invoice and moving-in date. There was a presumption that if you moved in, say, three years ago, the house was "complete" enough to live in, especially if no significant further building costs (i.e., costs directly related to the building itself) were incurred in the three months before you actually lodged your claim. They were denying claims made within three months of the completion certificate on this basis.


There's been a series of tribunal cases challenging this position over the last couple of years, and most have found for the claimants (although annoyingly, one or two followed the multi-factorial test). Unfortunately, tribunal cases are not precedential, and so they can't be relied upon by future appellants.

 

In short, unless and until this matter is heard by a higher court that can issue a precedential ruling, there'll always be a risk associated with moving in and claiming more than three months later, even if that claim is made within three months of the completion certificate.

 

The risk can perhaps be mitigated by ensuring you have some high value invoices less than three months before submitting your claim, especially if those invoices relate to building works rather than, say, fencing or driveway materials. Although the latter are claimable under the DIY VAT scheme, HMRC seems focused on completion of the building itself, rather than the project as a whole.

 

If you have the cash, one thing you could do is buy as much of the required materials as possible and then put in your VAT claim. I believe you're also allowed to continue buying materials after completion/moving in, up until the point you lodge your claim.

 

TL;DR: To avoid risk, you should make the claim within three months of the completion certificate and also within three months of moving in. 

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Where are you living now?  Has the house been valued for council tax and are you paying for council tax?

 

I have just submitted our VAT claim and that used a Certificate of Temporary Habitation as "proof of completion" and our moving in date was the date of that certificate, with the claim being submitted within 3 months of that.

 

If you do move in before that (cough) don't admit to it or tell anyone.

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1 hour ago, rgdrumming said:

On a side note - can anyone recommend an insurance company who will insure the property with us living in it before it is building control completed but has gas and electric signed off?


Your other question re VAT has been answered above but WRT the insurance try here. 

 

https://gsi-insurance.com/

 

 

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