I am a bonafide idiot when it comes to tax and need some help.
I undertook a self build project a couple of years ago converting a church into a dwelling. I understand that the VAT on the building materials can be reclaimed at the end of the project, however along with materials I have been purchasing quite a few tools and I was wandering if there's a reasonable way to claim the VAT back on those purchases.
I registered as Self Employed at the start of the project as I have been working full time on it and initially thought I could register for VAT and claim everything back through that avenue but upon further investigation discovered that I'd have to take the 'option to tax' route on the property itself which would make it impossible to sell. I then resigned myself to leaving it till a later date. Now I'm nearing the end of the project I want to understand my options.
Beyond this project I will be continuing with property renovation/small building projects so the tools I currently have will likely be joined by more in the future. I would like to not have to start adding VAT on to invoices for clients but at the same time I'd ideally like to be able to recover as much of the VAT from the project as possible with as little faff as possible.
If someone could spare the time to point me down the correct path for this I'd be very appreciative. Thank you