Construction VAT Rates

Picture of Written by: Liez Comendador
Written by: Liez Comendador
Construction VAT Rates

Highlight the text in the article to activate the speech reader function.


One of the more convoluted aspects of VAT is the treatment of construction work in the construction industry. The construction VAT rates for new structures is charged at the zero rate of VAT, given that the building is to be used for a social reason: in actuality, this implies that construction services for the development of new houses, abodes, and structures with a beneficent object are zero-rated. Value Added Tax, or VAT, is the obligation you need to pay when you buy goods and services.

The UK’s watchfulness in deciding the construction of VAT, similarly as with all Member States, is restricted by European VAT law.”

The harmonization of VAT rules across the EU has been viewed as a significant piece of accomplishing a Single European Market for a long time. In October 1992, the European Council concurred Directive 92/77/EEC, which set up new standards with respect to VAT rates. In short, Member States are needed to apply a standard VAT pace of 15% or more and have the choice of applying a couple of decreased rates, no lower than 5%, to certain predefined goods and services.

One thing on this rundown is the “arrangement, development, remodel and change of lodging, as a component of a social strategy.” Member States may keep on charging any lower rates, including zero rates that were set up on 1 January 1991. However, they can’t present any new rate under 5%.

There are three tiers of VAT, and as a rule, everything is taxed at the standard rate unless there is specific legislation to apply a reduced rate:

  1. 1. The standard rate – currently 20%
  2. 2. The reduced rate – currently 5%, e.g., home energy fuels and energy saving measures, mobility aids for the elderly
  3. 3. The zero rate – 0% e.g., books, children’s clothes, new residential buildings

Standard Rate VAT

Standard Rate VAT
VAT for most work on houses and flats by builders, and similar trades like plumbers, plasterers, and carpenters, are charged at the standard rate of 20%. Residential construction, including repairs, maintenance, and upgrades, are also charged at the standard rate.

Reduced Rate VAT

Bringing abandoned properties back into utilization can be expensive, especially when broad redesigns are required. There are a few conditions wherein VAT on building work is charged at a reduced rate or even zero-rated. In case you are planning to remodel a residential building, getting better rates can have a huge impact. It isn’t unexpected for developers to be unaware of the different VAT rates that could apply, and so you may be paying more than you need. In the case you realise there are lower rates, it can be difficult to recover what you’ve overpaid.

In certain circumstances, some construction services are subject to a reduced VAT rate of 5%.”

The lower rate applies to the following types of property:

  • redesigning private property that has been unfilled for over two years; 
  • where there is an adjustment of the quantity of abodes, for instance, changing over a house into flats
  • converting a business building to a residential building, for instance, a small shop being converted to a residential house
  • changing over a solitary family home into a place of multiple occupancy.

However, the 5% rate applies to building services and related materials, but not to independently bought building materials.

Reduced Rate VAT
Much of the time, a testament isn’t needed. However, to keep HMRC satisfied, proof you can use the lower rate is required. Where a property has been vacant for over two years, committee charge records ought to be utilized to help use the 5% rate, just as affirmation from the neighborhood authority ‘Void Properties’ official where they have one. Where you are managing an ‘adjustment of the number of abodes’ or a transformation from business to private use or into a place of various occupation, then, at that point, duplicates of the arranging consent and the planner’s arrangements should get the job done.

Zero-Rated VAT

Various goods and services are chargeable to VAT at “zero percent.”

This, by and large, implies that the products do fall inside the VAT system. However, an extra VAT charge isn’t applied. Zero rates consider available supplies. Subsequently, organizations that sell zero-rated merchandise get the advantage of treating these as available supplies, and as such, this doesn’t influence their capacity to recuperate VAT on buys made.

Zero-rate VAT on construction is applied on;

  • A dwelling property
  • Construction of relevant residential purpose
  • Construction for relevant charitable purpose

The zero-rate for structures utilized for a relevant residential purpose depends on the use instead of design, so the buildings developed may qualify as a home in certain circumstances. Where this applies, the business can pick which provisions it will use for zero-rating. This can be significant concerning future utilization of the building and the potential VAT charge for the change of utilization.

Zero-rated VAT

VAT Reverse Charge

The new VAT reverse charge rule expresses that when a VAT registered business supplies construction services to another VAT-registered development business, they will have to give a VAT receipt saying that the help is dependent upon the homegrown reverse charge. Yet, no VAT will be charged to the receipt.

This is significant because rather than paying VAT to the provider, the beneficiary should now show the VAT due on its VAT return. The beneficiary would then be able to recuperate the VAT as an input charge. In basic terms, the progressions influence development firms providing explicit services to other VAT registered organizations, who then, at that point, supply these to another person. HMRC characterizes these predetermined services under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

People often get confused when to use and when not to use reverse charge. No worries, we have aligned a list for both queries under the guidelines of HMRC.

When to use reverse charge?

You need to use the reverse charge when the following conditions are applied:

  • the supply for VAT consists of construction services and materials
  • supplier and customer are CIS registered 
  • the receipt is between a UK VAT registered supplier and UK VAT registered customer
  • created at the reduced or standard rate of VAT
  • the customer plans to make an ongoing delivery of goods to other businesses
  • the supplier and customer are not connected

When not to use reverse charge?

You should avoid using reverse charge in the following scenarios;

  • separating minerals (utilizing underground or surface working) and burrowing, exhausting, or development of underground works, for this reason
  • manufacturing building or designing parts or gear, materials, plant or hardware, or conveying any of these to site
  • installing seating, blinds and screens
  • making and fixing fine arts like models, paintings, and installing & fixing billboards and ads
  • installing security frameworks, including thief alarms, closed circuit TVs and public address system

Construction supply chains can be muddled, so the rules are proposed to streamline things by adding a reverse charge to the entire inventory network instead of every individual exchange or connection. Significantly, the choices can be made nearby between the gatherings in question. For instance, on the off chance that an organization supplies indicated administrations on a site and is requested to supply further work, then at that point, every one of the administrations on the site could be covered by the VAT reverse charge.

Since 1 March 2021 the manner in which VAT is gathered and represented on exchanges that come surprisingly close to the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) has changed.”

The progressions are joined to battle misrepresentation and forestall organizations charging VAT to their clients yet not HMRC. Tax regarding paying the Construction VAT rates to HMRC is being pushed up the chain to the end client. In case you are a business that supplies or gets construction services, it is significant that you understand when to apply the new standards. In the case you mistakenly use the reverse charge when you ought not, or don’t use it when you are meant to, you could end up with a VAT liability under an evaluation from HMRC.

How Legend Financial Can Help

Some VAT aspects can be very confusing for contractors and subcontractors, especially VAT reverse charge and VAT notice 708. Legend Financial provides consultancy and hands-on guide and advice. Let us help you make the right course of action in this complicated business aspect. Reach us today!



  • Junaid Usman

    Apart from being a partner at Legend Financial, Junaid is an expert on Business Tax including business management advisory services which has proven in the growth of company. He is a promising advisor with an ideology; "Any business success depends on the level of objectivity it maintains."

    View all posts

Reviewed by:

Picture of Junaid Usman
Junaid Usman
Apart from being a partner at Legend Financial, Junaid is an expert on Business Tax including business management advisory services which has proven in the growth of company. He is a promising advisor with an ideology; "Any business success depends on the level of objectivity it maintains."

2 thoughts on “Construction VAT Rates”

  1. This article makes it clear what VAT is charged depending on the circumstance; very useful! The information about the VAT reverse charge is also very helpful, as it is easy for people to be caught out not using it when they should.

  2. Very informative article comes close to a professional advise. Gives a good insight to people related to construction industry to charge or pay correct amount of VAT.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Similar Articles

Our Experts

Picture of Fahad Lateef
Fahad Lateef

Fahad is a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), with a motto “When “why” is clear, “how” is easier”. He is proficient in numeracy and impassioned with giving concise advice to a wide range of clients.

Picture of Junaid Usman
Junaid Usman

Junaid has been instrumental in the achievement of our success across various regions and he specialises in business management, accounting and tax advisory services.

Picture of Faizan Rashid
Faizan Rashid

Faizan is good at providing well-thought-out strategies and solutions to complex problems in Business Development which makes him a proficient overseer of our clients.

The quickest way from A to B is usually a conversation. So, if you want to find out more about how Legend Financial can boost your business, get in touch. We’ll give straight answers so you can make a confident decision, fast.

Most Popular


The quickest way from A to B is usually a conversation. So, if you want to find out more about how Legend Financial can boost your business, get in touch. We’ll give straight answers so you can make a confident decision, fast.

[ninja_form id=’38’]


Scroll to Top