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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: plumbing

The first time installation of a plumbing system is an ‘approved alteration’.

Works to part, or all, of an existing system (including replacing items) are not normally ‘approved alterations’. Although extensions to a system, or moving the location of items, may qualify if the works required listed building consent.

Note: The work may be zero-rated if carried out in the course of other ‘approved alterations’, such as an extension (VCONST08450).

In R W Gibbs (VTD 5596), asbestos lagging around central heating pipes dating back to about 1924 was removed. It was decided that these works were of repair or maintenance and not ‘approved alterations’.