In response to the VAT changes regarding listed buildings, a large number of people have written to both The Listed Property Owners Club and their local MP’s. Specialists installers of wooden windows and doors Oracle Windows Solutions support them wholeheartedly.
The Listed Property Owners Club have joined forces with over 20 similar organisations in an attempt to voice their opposition to the VAT changes. In a recent meeting on 17th May with Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, he said that he had ‘some sympathy’ about extending transitional relief, but needed more evidence to convince HMRC.
The Listed Property Owners Club and their collective organisations have also had a letter published in the Daily Telegraph. The letter reads:
By removing the zero rate of VAT on alterations to listed buildings, the Government is making it harder to protect our treasured heritage. The careful stewardship and updating of historic buildings is not an easy task. Alterations to listed buildings require specialist craft skills and building materials, and the type of building works allowed are carefully controlled by Listed Building Consent.
Despite what government ministers have implied, the 20% tax hike will not simply apply to new swimming pools for grand houses. Owners of listed buildings span the social and economic divide. According to English Heritage, 47% of people who live in listed buildings are the professionals and senior managers in social classes A and B, but 44% are in classes C1, C2 and D.
Far from being a tax break for wealthy mansion owners, the VAT relief on alterations to listed buildings is almost the only remaining incentive available to those who are willing to care properly for our historic built environment.
Since the last Spending Review the Government has cut heritage sector funding by more than £650 million per year and responsibility for heritage conservation now falls almost entirely on the private and charitable sectors. We can only assume the Government has missed the obvious link between this targeted VAT relief and its own ambition to create the ‘Big Society’.
Unless the Government steps away from this planned tax increase, it will be responsible for very real damage to the UK’s heritage and a further brake on the economic recovery.”
There is also an e-petition circulating in the hope that we can continue to put pressure on MP’S and get as many other property owners to sign the e-petition by 26th June 2012.
The petition can be found at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32056, and currently has 12,259 signatures.
Another meeting will be held shortly in which the Listed Property Owners Club and other similar organisations including the Federation of Master Builders, Historic Houses Association, and the Heritage Alliance.
At the meeting a joint letter will be written to David Gauke to repeat their concerns, as well as offering some more detailed suggestions and arguments for improving the transitional arrangements.
Aims and Objectives
All parties involved hope for complete reversal of the ruling, but failing this they will be aiming for proposed changes/improvements to include:
– A change in the qualification for zero rate during the transitional period from having a contract in place on 21 March 2012 to having demonstrated substantial fee expenditure / applied for Listed Building Consent by that date.
-An extension in the closing date for work to have been completed, from March 2013 to March 2015.
If you would like to share you views or have any thoughts or suggestions please contact the Listed Property Owner by email: firstname.lastname@example.org