Vat savings and council tax discounts

Bringing empty properties back into use can be costly, particularly if extensive renovations are necessary. 

There are two way in which you can be supported in reducing the costs of the work to your property.

Domestic building work is usually charged at the standard VAT rate of 20%, but there are concessions which can reduce project costs if the property has been empty for more than 2 years.

The Empty properties – Less taxing! leaflet summarizes possible VAT savings.

The Council’s Empty Homes Team can help provide supporting evidence, about the length of time that a property has been empty, for you to include with your application to HM Revenue and Customs for a VAT reduction or refund.

Request a letter of evidence for VAT reduction

Link to HM Revenue and Customs

HMRC VAT Helpline on 0300 200 3700

Empty Uninhabitable major Works Discount

Currently 50% for up to 12 months while the refurbishment in being undertaken, where the property is unoccupied and unfurnished and major repairs or structural alterations are required, undergoing or recently completed to make the property habitable. Evidence such as photos, estimates and invoices will be required.

Empty, unoccupied and Unfurnished

Currently 100% for up to one month where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished.

Empty property premium

Where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for a period of 2 years or more a 50% empty homes premium is payable. 

Change in circumstances

You must notify Council Tax if you are receiving a discount and there is a change in your circumstances within 21 days, or you may be liable to a penalty of £70.00.