VAT for builders in 2023 – Houses and flats

VAT (value-added tax) is an essential consideration for contractors working in the construction sector. It is crucial to comprehend and manage VAT appropriately to maintain compliance with tax laws and prevent potential financial penalties. Understanding VAT for builders entails recognizing when registration is necessary, understanding the appropriate rates for various construction work types, and being aware of exclusions and reduced-rate choices.

The reverse VAT charge, which transfers responsibility for declaration and payment to the contractor, is another critical subject for builders to understand. For builders to fulfill their tax duties, efficient VAT return administration, precise accounting, and record-keeping are essential. Builders may obtain the indispensable direction for handling the complexity of VAT in the construction business and maintain compliance by seeking competent assistance.

Does VAT Apply to all builders?

If a builder’s taxable revenue reaches the UK’s current threshold of £85,000, they must register for VAT. The total amount of products and services a builder sells for which VAT is applicable is taxable turnover.

If the annual turnover of builders reaches the given threshold, they must submit VAT within 30 days. Even if they still need to meet the border, builders can voluntarily register for VAT if they anticipate their future sales will surpass the level.

Builders should periodically evaluate their revenue to see whether they need to register for VAT to guarantee correct registration and reporting. It’s crucial to remain updated on the most recent VAT threshold and HMRC laws. They can get advice on VAT registration requirements and ensure compliance with VAT duties by consulting a competent accountant or tax specialist.

VAT application on construction supplies

Most of the supply of products and services in the construction business are subject to VAT.

The following are the VAT rates applied in the UK for construction supplies:

Standard Rate

The standard VAT rate, presently fixed at 20% in the UK, is applied to most construction supplies.

Lower Rate

A lower VAT rate of 5% may apply to certain types of building activity. It includes labor and supplies needed for remodeling, adapting a building for a different purpose, or transforming a commercial structure into a set of residential units.

Most of the supply of products and services in the construction business are subject to VAT. Thus, builders must comprehend how VAT relates to building supplies.

Reverse Charge: 

The reverse-charge mechanism is applicable in the construction sector for some services. The onus of recording and paying VAT moves from the provider to the customer under the reverse charge. The reverse fee applies to various services, including building, repair, demolition, and installation.

It is crucial for builders to precisely check the proper rate for their building materials and adhere to VAT requirements. Building contractors may ensure they appropriately apply VAT to their building supplies and fulfill their duties by maintaining accurate records, comprehending the precise guidelines and conditions for each VAT rate, and asking for expert guidance if necessary.

VAT for builders: What are the Considerations?

You must consider several factors while calculating VAT for builders to guarantee correct computations and compliance with tax regulations. There are some pivotal effects to flashback structure contractors should estimate their taxable profit to ascertain if they must be Value Added Tax registered. 

VAT Registration:

Registration is needed if the monthly profit reaches the VAT position, presently 85,000 in the UK.  Therefore, they can charge VAT on the sale of their goods.

VAT Rates

Depending on their work, builders must apply the appropriate VAT rates to their supply. The standard VAT rate is 20% which is applicable in the UK. However, several categories of construction work are subject to lower rates of 5% and zero rates. Every registered builder must unearth the exact vat rate for a more straightforward calculation.

Zero-rated supplies or VAT-exempt:

Builders should ascertain if their stores are eligible for zero-rating. The items exempted from the list do not qualify for the tax; however, goods that apply to zero % VAT will be liable under the mentioned rate. Construction of new homes for residential purposes is an example of a zero-rated collection, but specific sold or leased structures are exempt supplies.


Construction projects with qualifying and non-qualifying components must be pretty and reasonably apportioned to find each component’s VAT responsibility. Remembering when working on mixed-use buildings or projects with residential and commercial features is very important.

The reverse-charge:

Builders should understand mechanisms applicable to some building services. Under the reverse order, the customer must account for and pay the VAT to HMRC, not the provider. This system assists in preventing VAT theft in the construction sector.

Do builders have to be registered VAT?

Builders must not register for VAT if their yearly taxable revenue exceeds the government-set registration level. They must register for VAT if their taxable turnover reaches or exceeds £85,000 as of the current level (2021/2022 tax year) in the UK.

A constructor is not required to register for VAT if their yearly turnover is less than this amount. They can’t charge or collect tax on their purchases; they cannot claim the charge on their company expenditures.

If their yearly revenue exceeds the limit, they are liable for VAT registration to comply with the requirements. Builders must evaluate their turnover periodically within 30 days after crossing the barrier. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may apply fines for failure to register when necessary.

The duties depend on their circumstances, and to guarantee compliance with VAT legislation, builders must obtain expert assistance or talk with an accountant to evaluate.

Why it’s important?

 For several reasons, builders must comprehend and use the proper VAT. 

1. Respect for Tax Laws

The government is legally required to apply Value Added Tax (VAT). When the builders meet the standards, they must adhere to the tax laws and charge VAT on the materials. Failure to abide by the rules results in legal implications in the form of fines and penalties. 

2. Financial accuracy

Financial accuracy is paramount for your business. You can ensure it when your company charges an appropriate VAT amount. It helps in maintaining the records of your data. The accuracy of your finances depends mainly on your VAT calculations, which enable you to make informed decisions.

3. Avoiding Financial Losses

If you wrongly calculate VAT, Your business may incur a financial loss. It affects the overall industry while making a difference. Consequently, finding the right balance to achieve fair pricing is essential.

Also Read

History of VAT

VAT Calculator UK

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