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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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We have just had extensive work done on our home to

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We have just had extensive work done on our home to facilitate my husband's disability - he has Motor Neurone Disease. We submitted a signed certificate to the builder, with medical support, claiming nil VAT for work for disabled access. Our builder had
just finished another job where nil VAT was claimed. This job turns out to be wrongly claimed by the client and HMRC are now looking very closely at all nil VAT work undertaken by our builder as a result. For this reason our builder was asked to submit a detailed
schedule of works of our project. His Quantity Surveyor has done this and now submitted a bill to us of £550! This is totally unexpected and we wonder whether this is really our responsibility. Is this not down to our builder's relationship with HMRC? Should
we refuse to pay this bill?
Hi. The builder should have checked that your claim for a VAT zero rating was legitimate so any error is down to him. He should be more aware of the fine print around the rules than you so I would send the bill back to the surveyor and say he should be billing the builder. Unless you signed an agreement to indemnify the builder for an incorrect VAT zero-rating the builder and surveyor has no legal backing to bill you for the schedule of works. I've seen this sort of ploy by builders and tradesmen in the past. Some think they can bully vulnerable people such as pensionsers into believing black was white. The only thing you may need to pay is the VAT. I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Presumably if HMRC considers our VAT zero claim questionable, then the builder will be informed and we can see any correspondence relating to this? We are having other issues with him concerning quality of work etc so we do want to be sure that any statements we make are well founded!
If I were in your shoes, I would want to see proof that your claim for VAT zero-rating for the particular job wasn't valid before I handed over the VAT. That can only come from HMRC.
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