VAT Advice for Not-For-Profit Housing Providers

VAT can be a significant burden for not-for-profit housing providers, with increasingly complex regulatory demands to deal with. At The VAT People, we offer expert VAT advice to help registered social landlords (RSLs and other not for profit organisations to address their VAT issues in a cost-effective and efficient way.

With substantial amounts of VAT expenditure being irrecoverable for not-for-profit organisations, it is vital to plan your transactions carefully. The VAT People can offer expert guidance on this complex area of law, ensuring that you are able to comprehensively plan around your VAT responsibilities, while taking full advantage of any savings available.

For help and advice on any aspect of VAT regulations affecting RSLs and other not-for-profit organisations, contact The VAT People today by calling 0161 477 6600, or fill out an online enquiry form to request a call back at your convenience.

You can also visit our dedicated service page about VAT advice for housing associations for more specific information on how we can help these organisations.

How we can help you

Many of the not-for-profit organisations that require our help operate within the housing sector, and we have become the service of choice for many RSLs and other not-for-profit housing bodies that are grappling with the evolving complexity of VAT regulations.

We can advise and support your organisation in a number of ways, including:

  • advising on VAT issues arising from stock transfers and the construction of new housing stock
  • considering the recovery of overhead VAT using the partial exemption method, and identifying whether a better, more VAT-efficient method is appropriate. This is also the case for Capital Goods Scheme items, where clawback of initially recovered VAT is the issue
  • mitigating the VAT cost for RSLs relocating to new office accommodation, or increasing the recovery of VAT, by assisting with the planning process
  • helping organisations take advantage of reduced or zero-rated VAT relief schemes, including clients that have been erroneously charged at the full rate of VAT, in relation to conversions on works to listed properties
  • assisting with due diligence processes for organisations going through mergers and joint venture partnership arrangements

For a more general overview of the services we offer, you can also check out the following information pages:

As VAT is a transaction-based tax, it is important to adequately consider its implications prior to any transaction taking place. The VAT People can help you through every step of this process, allowing opportunities to be recognised, budgetary issues to be confirmed and any necessary planning arrangements to be considered and implemented.

We will provide a free initial review of the VAT implications of any development project, designed to reduce the VAT cost of the undertaking and maximise the amount of savings you achieve.


Is VAT owed when constructing new housing stock?

In general, services supplied by a builder in the course of construction of new housing stock are zero-rated, meaning the RSL will not incur VAT on building costs.

However, subject to the RSL’s intention with regard to the new housing, VAT costs incurred on professional fees associated with the development are likely to be irretrievable.

Ensuring that VAT on professional services is fully recoverable can be done through the implementation of a relatively simple planning arrangement.

It is also possible, subject to the partial exemption calculation method, to structure the planning arrangement in such a way as to enhance recovery of overhead VAT.

Is VAT owed when executing a stock transfer?

It remains common for RSLs to accept stock from local authorities. Such transfers are usually accompanied by a refurbishment programme, for which the RSL is grant-funded.

However, VAT costs on refurbishment are often wholly irrecoverable, causing a substantial VAT loss for the organisation.

To prevent this, planning arrangements are available that can enable full VAT recovery on refurbishment costs throughout the subsequent life of the agreed programme.

Contact us

To discuss a VAT issue related to not-for-profit housing, call The VAT People on 0161 477 6600, or fill out an online enquiry form and we will get back to you at a more convenient time.

If you’d like to find out more about the team who’ll be working to provide you with expert VAT advice, visit our team page.

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