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Is vat chargeable, work for church

Would you charge VAT on this work for a church

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A church has had an extention built, where there was not a building before. It is a reasonable size hall.

The work done, in this case, is the design and painting of a full height mural on the interior wall at one end.

Notwithstanding that the church has not been charged VAT on the usual building work, I think VAT would be chargeable on the mural painting as this is over and above the usual building finishes.

Just checking other's views, -

Thanks,

Replies (8)

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chips_at_mattersey
By Les Howard
21st Jan 2020 22:16

If the mural is on a wall of the zero rated annex, then it is decoration, which is also zero rated.

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By bernard michael
22nd Jan 2020 10:14

Rather like the Sistine Chapel ??

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Replying to bernard michael:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
22nd Jan 2020 10:24

Is that not the ceiling?

The one thing I would be interested to hear is, if the mural is post commencement of use (occupation/completion) would the answer above be different?

I know with residential new build care needs taken with the timing of the building of garages/garden landscaping etc, as once the building has an occupation certificate there may be issues with zero rating work on it, does same apply with churches/similar (my only involvement with churches is converting them to housing)

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Replying to bernard michael:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
22nd Jan 2020 12:49

"After its completion, the chapel was decorated with frescoes by a number of the most famous artists of the High Renaissance, including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pietro Perugino, and Michelangelo.[9]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistine_Chapel

Above from wiki, so the decorating was post completion and they obviously needed to charge the Pope vat, which is apt anyway given where he lives.

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By spidersong
22nd Jan 2020 10:39

Was the mural done post fact or in the course of construction.

If it was done after practical completion then it's not in the course of construction and it would be the same as any other artistic endeavour/painting and decorating i.e. Standard Rated if the artist is registered.

If it was still in the course of construction then it's up to the church how they want their painting done and whether it's gold leafing the entire wall or a bas relief of 'Christ the Redeemer'; whether it's above and beyond it's still building materials incorporated/building work done in the course of construction to bring it into use and so zero rated as Les says.

My suspicion would be it's option 1 and the building was effectively finished and they asked an artist to come in and put a mural across an already painted wall during the first few weeks of use. If I was the artist I'd want something fairly clear showing the building was incomplete and not in use before I'd zero rate it though.

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Replying to spidersong:
Routemaster image
By tom123
22nd Jan 2020 10:44

The building was already completed, magnolia walls etc. Not yet in full use by the church, but finished.

Thanks,

I am expecting the church will query the VAT charged,

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By kestrepo
22nd Jan 2020 11:55

Depends if you want to get into heaven or not I suppose!! If it was specified in
the original quote for the work or was specifically requested as a variation during the build I would not charge VAT. This is because I would consider it it to form part of the cost of the build and be zero rated. If it was specified / requested after the build was completed I would charge VAT.

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By fawltybasil2575
22nd Jan 2020 14:29

@ tom123 (OP).

I can envisage scenarios in which determining whether the work should or should not be considered part of the construction would be open to interpretation.

In that context, therefore, what did the (hopefully written) contract/estimate/quotation state regarding the potential addition of VAT (of course, if there was a contract for the work to be carried out for a price of (say) £2,000, and such contract is silent in relation to VAT, then the Church is only obliged to pay that £2,000 regardless of whether the work is or is not standard-rated) ?

Basil.

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