Option to tax (VAT) land and buildings

There are special VAT rules that allow businesses to standard rate the supply of most non-residential and commercial land and buildings (known as the option to tax). This means that subsequent supplies by the person making the option to tax will be subject to VAT at the standard rate.

The ability to convert the treatment of VAT exempt land and buildings to taxable can have many benefits. The main benefit is that the person making the option to tax will be able to recover VAT on costs (subject to the usual rules) associated with the property including the purchase and refurbishment of the property.

One interesting aspect of the rules concerns what happens if you make changes to a building after you have opted to tax. HMRC’s guidance sets out the following basic principles that apply to the most changes made:

Extensions. If you have opted to tax a building and you extend it at a later date, upwards, downwards or sideways, your option to tax will apply to the whole of the extended building.

Linked buildings. If prior to their completion buildings are linked by an internal access or covered walkway they are treated as a single building and an option to tax will apply to both parts. If a link is created after both buildings are completed, the option to tax will not flow through with the link.

Forming a complex. If you have a group of units that have been treated as separate buildings for the option to tax and you later decide to enclose them so as to form a complex, and which meets the description of what constitutes a building, then the option to tax will not spread to the un-opted units.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 15 Feb 2022 00:00:00 +0100

Latest articles

Notifying cessation of self-employment

Any taxpayers that have ceased to be self-employed must notify HMRC of their change in status. There are a number of steps that must be followed if a taxpayer ceases trading as a sole trader or if they are ending or leaving a business

Submitting CIS nil monthly returns

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules for tax and National Insurance for those working in the construction industry. Businesses in the construction industry are known as ‘contractors’ and ‘subcontractors’ and should be

Check employment status for tax

The Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool can be used to help ascertain if a worker should be classified as employed or self-employed for tax purposes in both the private and public sector.

The service provides HMRC’s view if IR35 legislation

Class 1A payment deadline

Class 1A NICs are paid by employers in respect of most benefits in kind provided to employees such as a company car. There is no employee contribution payable. If you provided taxable benefits to staff or directors your business is likely to have a