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HMRC internal manual

VAT Construction

HM Revenue & Customs
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Alterations and repair or maintenance - case law and agreements: painting and decorating

Works of painting and decorating are not ‘approved alterations’.

Note: The work may be zero-rated if carried out in the course of other ‘approved alterations’.

In A C T Construction Ltd ([1982] STC 25), the House of Lords, as an aside after holding that an alteration must be a structural alteration, said:

If the contrary view were right, the repainting of a house in a different colour from that previously used would be an ‘alteration’, a conclusion which in this context I venture to think cannot be sustained.