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HMRC internal manual

VAT Construction

HM Revenue & Customs
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‘Approved alteration’ of a ‘protected building’ (rules prior to 1 October 2012): is the work an ‘approved alteration’

The definition of ‘approved alteration’

The term ‘approved alteration’ is defined by the Value Added Tax Act 1994, Schedule 8, Group 6, Note 6.

Note: The construction of a building separate from, but in the curtilage of, a protected building is expressly excluded from being an alteration. The legal basis for this is Note 10 to Group 6 and it is explained at VCONST08260.

Establishing the works and their status

Having established that the works in question will be carried out on a ‘protected building’, it is then necessary to determine the nature of those works.

Work to a protected building may be extensive. It may affect more than one part of the building and consist of more than one task. It is important to identify these as closely as possible in order establish any variations in liability and agree any apportionments (VCONST08800).

The status (and consequently the liability) of the works can then be established using the table below and the guidance attached to each step:

Step Question Options
1 Does the work require and have Listed Building Consent? (VCONST08350) Yes, go to step 2.
No, the work is not an ‘approved alteration’.      
  2 Is the work an alteration of the fabric of the building, which is not work of repair or maintenance? (VCONST08450) Yes, go to step 3.
No, the work is not an ‘approved alteration’.      
  3 Is the alteration an incidental alteration resulting from carrying out works of repair or maintenance? (VCONST08550) Yes, the work is not an ‘approved alteration’.
No, the work is an ‘approved alteration’.  

Remember, work that is not ‘an approved alteration’ may nevertheless be zero-rated if it is supplied ‘in the course of’ an ‘approved alteration’ (VCONST08650).