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Ask an expert: VAT on joint ventures

Question

I act for a businessman who has found a large property for sale. He has contacted a business associate and they have agreed to work together splitting the expenses and profits equally between them. They intend to obtain planning consent for conversion to residential use and find a buyer for the site. They are currently negotiating an option with the owners to purchase the site before seeking planning permission and selling. Neither businessman is registered for VAT and they do not wish to enter a partnership. However the owners have opted to tax the property so who should register for VAT to make a reclaim?

Answer

This is an interesting case. There is no agreement to supply services...

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