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HMRC internal manual

VAT Construction

Zero-rating major interest grants after a non-residential conversion: is the building the subject of a ‘non-residential conversion’: burden of proof

It is the responsibility of the trader to demonstrate that a building is ‘non-residential’. This is confirmed by the decision in Robert and Annabel Tilley (VTD 15097) where the Tribunal stated:

The onus for showing that the works in question qualify for zero rating lies on the Appellants. The standard of proof is that of the balance of probabilities… The Appellants say that it would be unfair to expect them to go into the history of the building so as to establish its original status or use. That does not seem to the Tribunal to be the case. Moreover, the terms of Note 7 do create a cut off point in time so that the burden on the appellant seeking to justify a refund of value added tax is not unreasonable.

Examples of acceptable evidence are given in Notice 708 Buildings and construction.