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HMRC internal manual

VAT Construction

Alterations and repair or maintenance - case law and agreements: underpinning

The insertion of underpinning is normally carried out to stabilise a building and prevent its further decline. As such, it is a work of repair or maintenance.

However, case law, including a case in the House of Lords, has insisted that it be treated as an ‘approved alteration’. Careful consideration should be given to any cases in this area before denying relief.

A C T Construction Ltd ([1982] STC 25; House of Lords): Works of underpinning were carried out. The House of Lords held it was an alteration. Check VCONST08490 for a summary of this decision.