Government Under Pressure to Cut VAT on Retrofits

The government needs to reduce its 20% VAT rate on retrofitting old homes, according to the chief executive of Historic England. 

Duncan Wilson was speaking at the Architects Journal’s AJ100 breakfast event, where he questioned retrofitting being taxed at 20% while VAT on new build projects is 0%.

“We have been speaking to the government for quite a long time [about] changing the VAT regime,” said Wilson. “That is something we need all to keep battering away at, because it is somewhat crazy to have 0% on new build and 20% on repair, refurbishment and maintenance.”

Retrofitting a home helps to improve its energy efficiency by adding new technology or features. This process differs from renovating a house or conducting home improvements to make a home more aesthetic. 

Wilson’s comments follow an industry-wide push to amend the policy. Green Alliance published a report last week stating the government should cut VAT on retrofits, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) wants VAT to be reduced to a maximum limit of 5-10%, and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors urged the government earlier this month to reduce VAT to 5%. 

The Importance of Retrofitting

Wilson said that around 21% of UK

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