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Zero-rated installation of blinds

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HMRC has changed its policy on the VAT treatment of manual window blinds and shutters, accepting that they are building materials for VAT purposes and can be zero-rated when installed in a qualifying build. Revenue & Customs Brief 5/2021 confirms the policy change, following the FTT decision in Wickford Development Co Ltd ([2020] UKFTT 387 (TC)). Previously, HMRC had considered that roller blinds were not building materials, meaning that VAT was blocked and could not be recovered. HMRC confirms that the new treatment does not extend to any window blinds that are motorised, which are considered to be ‘electrical appliances’ for the purposes of the Value Added Tax (Input Tax) Order, SI 1992/3222 (the input tax ‘blocking order’).

The brief also notes that DIY housebuilders can use a refund scheme to claim VAT charged on manual blinds. The policy change is effective from 5 October 2020.

Issue: 1531
Categories: News