We hired a builder for a £70k project, whom is VAT registered.
We discussed paying for as much directly as possible to avoid paying additional VAT to our builder, and now the project has come to an end our builder is trying to deduct the £18k paid by us from the Gross amount and not the Net, meaning there was absolutely no benefit in us paying all of these invoices directly.
Is this a common stitch up contractors try on? I don't know if we have rights to argue it when it was a verbal agreement, but it just wouldn't make sense for us to have paid everything directly otherwise. We have even paid £4k of his workers wages (via transfer)