The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

Eric Pickles vague compromise on planning reform keeps the house happy (for now).

Worrying times in the world of property with a seemingly constant flow of bad new, good news, contradiction and spin. I thought I might try to track it with my property roller-coaster.

First we’re on a downward loop as we learn that the proposed planning reform, to allow homeowners to extend by as much as 26ft is now to be rethought. Eric Pickles had to compromise in the vaguest terms to prevent a defeat and ensure that the house disagreed with a Lords amendment giving power to local authorities to opt out of the reforms. Now it’s back to the Lords to debate further.

Read more in the Telegraph >> Government planning reforms in disarray after backbench rebellion

Good job I never started on those plans for my single story, palatial, garden room…

Interesting earthship greenhouse project on Kickstarter

I really like this Kickstarter project >> The Farm of the Future: Earthship-Inspired Greenhouse

This project is “Prototyping the First 100% Off-The-Grid, Affordable, Low-Maintenance Greenhouse using Earthship Principles and Aquaponics“.

If any of those words meaning anything to you you’ll be interested in the project if not, pass it by…

It’s already funded so I guess that’s a positive step in seeing some output from the project, the how-to guide at the $25 funding level looks interesting.

VAT Reclaim sent

I sent in my reclaim of the VAT on the conversion of the barn a week ago today.

I sent in my reclaim of the VAT on the conversion of the barn a week ago today. Putting together the forms and all the supporting evidence required has taken quite some time and partly explains my lack of activity on this website.

Anyway it’s in now…

As a point of note the first invoice I’m claiming against dates right back to the 11th May 2007 and relates to lime putty I bought from Ty Mawr Lime – it’s been a long journey…

VAT Reclaim Spring 2013 Part 1

With my completion certificate delivered in November the clock is ticking on my VAT reclaim for the conversion of the barn…

You have You can only send in one claim and that claim must be submitted no later than three months after the conversion has been completed.

VAT refunds for DIY housebuilders – Claim form and notes for conversions Page 10.

The form ‘to claim a VAT refund as a DIY housebuilder who has converted an existing building into a dwelling’ is downloadable from the HMRC website.

I’ve been here before five years ago (gulp! time flies!), but the forms have changed since then.

Having had a brief read over the new forms, all seems pretty straight-forward at face value. I have my planning permission documents and completion certificate so the documentary ‘topping and tailing’ is all in place. I’ve also already worked through and organised my invoices and receipts.

The one area I’m unsure of is claiming back the various small till receipts I have from places like B&Q. Obviously these aren’t full invoices containing names, addresses and VAT numbers so I’m a little wary of including them in my claim. After some research it seems that VAT registered businesses reclaiming VAT can claim on such receipts, but the jury is still out in my case. Further research required…

VAT Reclaim – VAT rate history

VAT rates over the last 30+ years…

So at last I’m looking at the VAT reclaim on the barn again. I think the last time I seriously discussed it here was back in 2009 when I very foolishly stated ‘My own VAT reclaim will be due soon – by early Summer at the latest‘ — ahhhh, the innocence of my (relative) youth!

The first thing I was struggling to get straight was what the VAT rate has been over the period of the conversion. So here’s a summary I assembled from across the web, in reverse chronological order:

  • On 4 January 2011 VAT was raised to 20%
  • On 1 January 2010 VAT returned to 17.5%
  • On 1 December 2008 VAT was reduced to 15% temporarily
  • In 1991 VAT rose to 17.5%
  • In 1979 VAT was consolidated to a single rate of 15%