I currently have planning permission to convert a derelict barn into a new dwelling that I plan on living in. There are no planning restrictions on selling the property in future, no intended busniess use etc so I believe that part is fine for me to reclaim the VAT using form 431C.

The current planned method of carrying out the build is to use a main contractor, and I’m currently working with my architect and a quantity surveyor on detailed design, project estimates and a tender package. They intend on using a standard building contract. My QS doesnt think I can claim back any of the VAT, and this is what he’s said:

I believe that if the works are carried out entirely under a building contract by a single Contractor then they are not considered to be a DIY build but you need to check this. The reference to builders on form 431C and the HMRC website does not necessarily mean a single Contractor as we would have in this case. Builders can mean for example a plastering company, a plumbing company etc all of which could be employed individually to complete the works. Although you are organising the works the building contract will be administered by the architects on your behalf.

Am I still eligible to claim all of the VAT back in this case? I think as long as the contractor issues me with the invoices and then receipts with my name on, then that is all I need to complete 431C and submit a successful claim isn’t it?

Would appreciate some advice, as I can’t see why he thinks I can’t claim the VAT here? Also if not, how can I change the planned build method so I can claim all the VAT back?


  • David Thomas

    Yes you most definitely can. You will need to set this up before you start the build. If your QS does not know this bit, then I wonder how useful he is for the rest of the job. Conversions of barns churches pubs anything that was not previously a private dwelling is eligible for VAT exemption. I believe that some things are not VAT exempt such as tool hire. I do not see how the method of carrying out the work affects the VAT situation if it does then find a different route. Search previous articles in our magazine where the topic has been covered on numerous occasions.

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