Option to tax (VAT) land and buildings

Posted on 14th February 2022 by Streets Value Added Tax


Image to represent 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.


No Advice

The content produced and presented by Streets is for general guidance and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice. Furthermore, it should not be considered a recommendation or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities or other form of financial asset. The information provided by Streets is of a general nature and is not specific for any individual or entity. Appropriate and tailored advice or independent research should be obtained before making any such decisions. Streets does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which is incurred from you acting or not acting as a result of obtaining Streets' visual or audible content.

Information

The content used by Streets has been obtained from or is based on sources that we believe to be accurate and reliable. Although reasonable care has been taken in gathering the necessary information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information we publish and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions in material. You should always seek specific advice prior to making any investment, legal or tax decisions.


Expert insight and news straight
to your inbox

Related Articles


Check a VAT number

The check a UK VAT number service is available at: www.gov.uk/check-uk-vat-number. This service allows users to check: if a UK VAT registration number is valid; and the name and address of the registered business. The service also allows UK


VAT boost to charitable donations

The government is looking to introduce a new relief that would provide a VAT boost to charitable donations. The new VAT relief would be designed to encourage businesses to donate everyday items to charities without creating a VAT liability. A 12-week


VAT retail scheme

VAT retail schemes are a special set of schemes used by retail businesses to account for VAT. The schemes are used by businesses that sell a significant amount of low value and/or small quantity items to the public with different VAT liabilities. The use of the schemes can save ...


You might also be interested in...