VAT - Protected Buildings
Note: From 1 October 2012, zero rating has been withdrawn for work undertaken to protected buildings.
To mitigate the impact of this change, a transitional relief will apply until 30 September 2015. Zero-rating will continue to apply where a 'relevant consent' was applied for before 21 March 2012 or a contract was entered into before 21 March 2012. This included contracts already underway on 21 March 2012. For more information see HMRC, Buildings and construction.
Work on certain types of building may be zero-rated. This means that that no VAT is payable on such work.
For these rules to apply the building in question must be a 'protected building', a 'listed building' or a 'scheduled monument'. And for such works on these types of building, the works themselves are subjected to a variety of tests as to whether they are considered 'approved alterations'.
There are clear definitions which apply to each of these categories of building.
Consultants’ fees associated with such works are not, however, zero-rated although some consultants services which are supplied via, for example, a design and build contract may be zero-rated depending upon the nature of such services and the contractual arrangement under which they are supplied.
Your services can be zero-rated when all of the following conditions are met:
|1||Work is carried out to a ‘protected’ building.|
|2||The work is an ‘alteration’ of a protected building and is not work of ‘repair or maintenance’.|
|3||The alteration is ‘approved’.|
|4||Your services are made ‘in the course of the approved alteration’ of that building.|
|5||Where necessary, you hold a valid certificate.|
|6||Your services are not specifically excluded from zero-rating.|
 What is a ‘protected’ building?
A building is a ‘protected’ building when the following conditions are met:
|A protected building is a building that is||and is|
|Designed to remain as or become a dwelling or number of dwellings.
Intended for use solely for a relevant residential purpose.
Intended for use solely for a relevant charitable purpose.
|Either a listed building or
a scheduled monument
 What is a listed building?
A listed building is one included in a statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest compiled by the Secretary of State for National Heritage in England and by the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In England and Wales there are three categories of listed building, Grade I, Grade II*, and Grade II. In Scotland the equivalent categories are Grade A, Grade B and Grade C(s). In Northern Ireland the equivalent categories are Grade A, Grade B+ and Grade B.
Buildings within the curtilage of a listed building such as outhouses or garages which, although not fixed to the building, form part of the land and have done so since before 1 July 1948 (for example, an outhouse) are treated for planning purposes as part of the listed building.
Unlisted buildings in conservation areas, or buildings included in a local authority's non-statutory list of buildings of local interest, which used to be known as Grade III buildings, are not ‘protected’ buildings for VAT purposes.
See Listed buildings for more information.
 What is a scheduled monument
A scheduled monument is one included in a statutory schedule of monuments of national importance as defined in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 or the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Object (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.
You can only zero-rate an approved alteration to a scheduled monument if it is a building that meets the certain tests set out by HM Revenue and Customs.
The underlying purpose of these provisions is to facilitate the repair and protection of nationally important buildings as well as to make the provision of certain types of dwelling easier and less financially demanding than would otherwise be the case.
However, at the time of writing, these zero – rating rules are being reviewed by HM Government and it may be the case that this favourable treatment is removed for approved alterations to approved buildings.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Business rates.
- Conservation areas.
- Listed buildings.
- Stamp duty.
- Tax Relief for Heritage: Lessons from abroad.
- VAT - Option to tax.
- VAT Policy for historic buildings.
 External references
Featured articles and news
The IHBC helps UK Civic Trusts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of Conservation Areas, with a fund allocation of up to £2500, including a prize of a place at the IHBC’s Annual School on offer for the most effective project.
The IHBC’s commercial conservation services listing, HESPR – the Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition scheme – offers weekly HESPR Bulletins listing tender opportunities. The Director’s top pick for IHBC members this week features Redbridge Borough Council’s search for a ‘consultant to provide additional guidance to support the Council’s evidence base in relation to tall buildings throughout the Borough’, with a contract valued at £60,000.
This year the AGM will be held in Lisburn on 9th November, followed by the joint conference ‘Heritage for the Next Generation, Who Pays?’, organised by the Branch with Lagan Navigation Trust and Heritage Trust Network. Key ministerial and media speakers include Paul Givan MLA, John Sergeant and Joe Mahon.
The IHBC has warmly welcomed Historic Environment Scotland's (HES) new website, a ‘Place to Explore your Built Heritage'.
Bristol may have lost one of its oldest and most historically important churches as St Michael on the Mount Without adds itself to the long line of listed buildings assailed by fire.
A resident has been fined £1,600 after Harlow Council took him to court for failing to demolish an outbuilding he has built in his garden, as Councillor Danny Purton, Portfolio Holder for Environment there, said: ‘… People living in a conservation area take pride in maintaining its special character and this development does more harm than good and does nothing to either preserve or enhance the appearance of the area. There are no public benefits to outweigh the harm this causes.’
On 12 October 2016, the AQA exam board announced that it would not be continuing work to develop new AS and A-levels in Archaeology, Classical Civilisation, History of Art and Statistics, and petitions objecting to these plans have been generating lots of signatures.
Firefighters worked through the night of 13 October to battle a huge blaze at a former north-east hospital, the derelict Glen O’Dee hospital, Banchory as now news reports have emerged that the Category A listed building, which once featured on the BBC ‘Restoration’ programme, has been deliberately destroyed by fire.
An appeal launched relating to housing near the historic battlefield of Edgehill, Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire has been dismissed, with the inspector concluding that the appeal was not in accordance with the development plan and that harm to the character of the surroundings would be likely to occur.
The remembrance poppy sculpture ‘weeping window’ which was initially at the Tower of London now graces another monument, this time in Wales, at Caernarfon Castle.