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HMRC internal manual

VAT Construction

Alterations and repair or maintenance - case law and agreements: about this section

This section applies the principles set out in the previous section to specific areas of work and illustrates them with case law and, where applicable, gives details of extant agreements with professional bodies.

The guidance relating to each area of work, which is listed alphabetically by subject area, concentrates on condition two of the basic conditions outlined at VCONST08100.

Each area of work includes a summary of the most frequently cited cases, or agreements, on the subject area, listed in the chronological order of when the decision was made.

Some of the cases relate to supplies made before 1984. Whilst these cases do not relate specifically to ‘protected buildings’, the views on ‘alteration’ and ‘repair and maintenance’ are still valid. That said, the majority of cases decided prior to the 1982-83 House of Lords judgments in A C T Construction and Viva Gas have not been included because they often used the wrong tests in coming to their decision.

In some cases a finding of fact on ‘alteration’ or ‘repair or maintenance’ was not the only issue that determined the liability of the work. For example, whether the work required listed building consent may also have been considered. For the purpose of this section these other issues have been ignored.