You can apply for a VAT refund on building materials and services if you’re:
- building a new home
- converting a property into a home
- building a non-profit communal residence – eg a hospice
- building a property for a charity
The building work and materials have to qualify and you must apply to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 3 months of completing the work.
But its important to note..
When a sole proprietor or partnership is in the business of constructing property for sale and builds a house on his own land for his own occupation, or by a connected person, he can either:
- recover the VAT through his VAT return in the normal way
- claim the VAT through the Refund Scheme.
Until 1 January 2011, a sole proprietor or partnership (in the business of constructing property for sale) who built a house on his own land for his own occupation, or by a connected person, could either:
- recover the VAT through his VAT return in the normal way
- claim the VAT through the DIY Refund Scheme.
After 1 January 2011, however, this choice is no longer available to him and it will only be possible to recover VAT through his return to the extent that the services and materials will be used for taxable business purposes. Where the house has not been constructed for a business purpose it will not be possible to claim back the VAT through his return. The only option that will now be available to him will be to make a claim through the Refund Scheme.
Companies and other corporate bodies who build dwellings for their staff or officers of the company can’t make a Refund Scheme claim because the tax is incurred in the course or furtherance of their business.
VAT incurred in relation to staff accommodation is input tax and can be recovered through the company’s VAT return, subject to the normal rules.
As such the only way to recover the VAT is by making a DIY claim for the cost of materials and this should be made as one claim within 3 months of completion.
We all try to improve our properties, but are we doing it with a profit motive?
The purpose of private residence relief is to relieve gains arising on the disposal of an individual’s residence so that the whole of the disposal proceeds are available to be used to buy a new residence of a similar standard. It is not intended to relieve speculative gains or gains arising from development.
The exclusion of speculative or development gains is achieved by TCGA92/S224 (3). It is important to understand the scope and limitations of this subsection so that you can apply it in suitable cases.
The subsection applies
- where a dwelling house is acquired wholly or partly for the purpose of realising a gain from its disposal, or
- where there is subsequent expenditure on the dwelling house wholly or partly for the purpose of realising a gain from its disposal.
Where the first part of the subsection applies no relief is due on any gain accruing from the disposal of the dwelling house. Where the second part of the subsection applies no relief is due on any part of the gain attributable to the expenditure.
If you plan to develop your property prior to sale it could be worth transferring it to company before any work is carried out, this could help to ensure that any gain to the date of transfer will be exempt from tax.
There is a further potential risk that HMRC may view the property development as a trading activity.
Almost a third of British workers run some kind of creative business outside their main job contributing an estimated £15bn to the UK economy, according to new research from Moo.com. Profitability among this group of enterprises has increased by 32% in the past year. One in ten part-time creative entrepreneurs plans to leave their job to focus on their business full-time within the next year. However, 60% said it was their passion for the business, and not making money, that motivated them. The most popular part-time creative ventures are in food and cooking, gardening, photography and knitting. (According to Law Donut)
So why are micro businesses taking off:
- You can start off working at home
- Your start up costs are low
- You can do it part time when it suits you
- With wages frozen and costs rising it can provide a useful additional income
- Its easy to be price competitive with low overheads
- The Internet makes it easy to sell your goods and services
- Your social capital can be used to generate sales ie use your contacts and connections
- There could tax advantages – employees generally pay more tax than sole traders
- Some clients prefer the personal touch
- It could be start of something big
Here are my top 20 home based business ideas:
- Get a lodger – Under rent-a-room a taxpayer can be exempt from Income Tax on profits from furnished accommodation in their only or main home if the gross receipts they get (that is, before expenses) are £4,250 or less
- Ironing and Laundry Services – Always popular and you can start with friends and family
- E Bay Trading – as E Bay say… The first task is to sort through those bulging drawers and messy cupboards, finding stuff to flog. Get a big eBay box to stash your wares in, and systematically clear out wardrobes, DVD and CD piles, the loft and garage. Use the easy 12-month rule of thumb to help you decide what to offload: Haven’t used it for a year? Flog it.
- Blogging – Blogging has taken off and many businesses are looking for people to write blogs for them
- Candle Making – You can sell the candles on line and its easy to buy the wax and things you need to make the candles
- Car Boot Sale – As with E Bay but without going on line
- Cake Making – Make sure everything is labelled correctly and you comply with Health & Safety issues
- Data Entry – The internet makes it easy to enter data from where ever you are
- Social Media – Similar to blogging, businesses need help to manage Twitter, Facebook and Linked In
- Website Design – If you have the expertise, go for it
- Sales Parties – Cosmetics to Ann Summers, there is a long list of opportunities
- Sewing and Clothes Alterations – Perfect before and after Christmas
- Jewellery – Making and selling jewellery is always popular and great for Christmas presents
- Car Repairs – Assuming you have the skills needed and comply with legal requirements
- Pet Care – Walking dogs or grooming is popular
- Virtual Assistant – Also personal organiser or personal shopper
- Wedding Planner – You could start by creating a blog about your expertise
- Direct Sales – For example http://www.netmums.com/back-to-work/working-for-yourself/direct-selling-opportunities
- Computer Repair – Great provided you have the skills
- Marketing – Telesales to leaflet design and freelance writing