HMRC has confirmed it has changed its policy in relation to certain roller blinds and shutters installed in new houses and flats. HMRC now accepts that these are ‘building materials’ for VAT purposes and so eligible for zero-rating and VAT recovery by developers.
This change is welcome and should reduce VAT costs, in particular for:
The policy change was expected following the decision the First-tier Tribunal in Wickford and is effective from 5 October 2020, the date of this decision was published. Although HMRC’s brief of 11 May 2021 does not cover all of the potential scenarios, we understand that this means that the position is as follows:
HMRC’s revised policy only applies to manually-operated roller blinds and shutters. VAT on electric roller blinds is still blocked from recovery. It does change the treatment of curtains; curtains are seen as removable items and so not part of the building, but curtain poles are building materials and so should be zero-rated. It also leaves uncertainty as to how items such as Roman blinds should be treated.
If you would like further information into this matter please get in touch with Adam Cutler or your usual Crowe contact.
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