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Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.
You are correct, here is the guidance from the Gov UK website:
'For work to be zero-rated for VAT, it must qualify as a genuinely new, self-contained house or flat. This means:
As this is a conversion then the zero rating is inapplicable.
I do hope that you have found my reply of assistance.
anyways around this dilemma. client is adamant that his next door neighbour is claiming back all the vat on a similar build.
Well, he cannot, it is as simple as that unless the last condition applies.
can it not be argued that he is
extending an existing building to create a new house or flat);'
in effect 5 new flats
No, because it is not 'a genuinely new, self-contained house or flat' as provided for in the conditions unless the existing building is demolished to ground level.
Thank you for your support.