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Empty property reduced rate

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We have an ongoing issue with a client for works carried out which they claim should be at the reduced rate of 5% due to the building being empty for more than two years. They have provided an e-mail to show the last tenant vacated over 2 years ago and are asking for the invoice to be resubmitted at the reduced rate.

Following previous advice on here I did question this in regards to the HMRC guidance as I cannot see where it states these works are applicable to reduced rate but they have not come back on this. The works were in connection with cleaning of balconies at their premises.

My view is that these works are not in related to any renovation or building works and this would be when the 5% rate is charged as opposed to it just being empty.

I am looking to continue to press them to show where in the guidance it states it should be reduced. 

Appreciate any views. Also, is an e-mail showing the last tenant vacating enough for us to reduce if it was to be or should be proof be in some form of reduced business rates documentation etc?

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By Les Howard
25th Sep 2021 19:58

You are correct. The reduced rate only applies to works of ‘construction,’ not cleaning, Sch 7A of VATA1994 is the place to start. And HMRC Notice 708.

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