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Astral Construction Ltd v HMRC

In Astral Construction Ltd v HMRC (TC02773 – 12 July) a company constructed a nursing home on the site of a redundant church incorporating most of the church as a reception area. HMRC issued a ruling that the work constituted the conversion of the church and was chargeable to VAT at the reduced rate of 5%. The company appealed contending that the work qualified for zero-rating. The First-tier Tribunal accepted this contention and allowed the appeal observing that ‘viewed structurally and as a whole the church can only be described as being dwarfed by the new build’.

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Why it matters: HMRC formed the opinion that the work here constituted the conversion of the church into a nursing home. However the First-tier Tribunal accepted the company’s contention that since the nursing home was substantially larger than the church had...

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