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VAT: roller blinds

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HMRC is not appealing against the first-tier tribunal decision in John Price v  HMRC TC 873, reported last month.

‘The tribunal agreed with the appellant that roller blinds were “building materials” as defined by note 22 to group 5 of [VATA 1994 Sch 8 (zero rating)]. As a result, the appellant was entitled to treat the VAT incurred on the purchase of the blinds as recoverable from HMRC under the provisions of the DIY Housebuilders and Converters VAT Refund Scheme (VATA 1994 s 35),’ HMRC said in Revenue & Customs Brief 02/11.

HMRC's maintains that roller blinds and other window furniture are not 'building materials', and will not be changing its policy, but is not appealing the decision because the amount of VAT at stake is small. The department’s policy is to restrict the zero rate to basic materials that make up the structure of a property and to standard fittings and fixtures that enable the property to function.