Wall coating scam

Wall coating scam

Notification regarding the wall coating scam

New Policy paper has been published with the help of Barnsley Bate.

Dear Mr BATE,
Thanks to your assistance in this matter, together with Dudley Trading Standards, we have managed to change HMRC policy which has been published!
No doubt we will catch up soon.

Sent to Barnsley Bate via email from

Senior Trading Standards Officer and Intelligence Analyst
Consumer Protection and Investigations Team
Dudley Trading Standards
01384 814675

 

Briefing can be found here,

Copy below

Policy paper

Revenue and Customs Brief 9 (2018): VAT – damp proofing products

Published 20 July 2018

1. Purpose

This brief clarifies HMRC’s policy on the VAT liability of damp proofing products like paints, creams and gels. These products are typically applied to the exterior walls of houses to prevent damp.

2. Readership

Businesses that manufacture and retail damp proofing products, and businesses that apply these products to the exterior walls of residential accommodation.

3. Background

Businesses that make supplies of installing certain energy-saving materials (ESMs) in residential accommodation to final customers qualify for the reduced rate of VAT. This includes services of installing the materials and the materials themselves, when they are supplied as part of an installation. Business to business supplies of ESMs are always standard rated.

4. Issue

HMRC has become aware of a number of businesses that are marketing damp proofing products as ESMs. This implies that supplies of applying these products to the walls of residential accommodation are eligible for the reduced rate.

This treatment is supported by the Tribunal in the case Safeguard Europe Ltd v HMRC [2013] UK First-tier Tribunal 145 (TC) (“Safeguard”), which decided that one such product known as Stormdry qualified as an ESM. However, as this is a First-tier Tribunal decision it is not binding and cannot be used as a precedent.

5. Clarification of HMRC’s policy

HMRC has reviewed the VAT treatment of these products following the Safeguard decision. It has concluded that these products do not qualify as ESMs for the following reasons:

  • the dominant purpose of these products is to water-proof exterior walls rather than improving thermal efficiency
  • there is no conclusive evidence that these products improve the thermal efficiency of brickwork
  • if such evidence became available, it is likely that any improved thermal efficiency would be incidental to the dominant purpose of the products which is water-proofing
  • the products are not normally described as insulators
  • the products are sold (or ‘held out for sale’) as water-and-damp proofing products and not insulators
  • the legislation refers to ESMs being “installed”, which indicates that the legislation more naturally refers to typical insulators such as cavity wall insulation rather than the damp proofing products which are ‘applied’

HMRC does not regard damp proofing paints, creams or gels as ESMs. Therefore, the sale and services of applying these products to the walls of residential accommodation are standard rated for VAT purposes.

6. Implementation

HMRC will apply this policy with effect from 1 September 2018 to give businesses time to change their marketing and update their systems.

Further guidance on ESMs can be found in VAT Notice 708/6 and this will be updated to reflect this clarification of policy.

7. Action required

Businesses should account for VAT at the standard rate on all sales and applications of these products on supplies made on or after 1 September 2018 and, if necessary, change their marketing. This Revenue and Customs Brief overrides any decisions that HMRC has issued that are inconsistent with this policy clarification.

New Breeam Associate

Mike Scott is now a Breeam Associate

Mike Scott is now a Breeam AssociateCongratulations to Mike Scott

BREEAM Associate Online Examination completed the course

BREEAM is the acronym used to describe an environmental assessment method for new construction and refurbishment works. The Building Research Establishment (“BRE”) administers the scheme that has provided a rating system for projects in the UK and worldwide since 1990.

The objectives of BREEAM are to set the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and the rating is a measure of a building’s environmental performance recognised and endorsed by central government, professional institutions and national client bodies.

A BREEAM assessment establishes benchmarks applicable to one of five chosen ratings and evaluates a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology. They include aspects related to water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste and management processes. Each category has a defined series of benchmarks that are higher than background national regulation and are sustained during the construction works by a comprehensive and robust set of technical standards with rigorous quality assurance and certification.

The BREEAM Associate qualification provides construction project professionals with the practice skills and knowledge to advice Clients and other Stakeholders who are contemplating the adoption of BREEAM at project inception.

New Street – Project of the Year 2016

Following a major £1bn redevelopment, Birmingham’s New Street Station has been crowned UK Project of the Year at the 2016 RICS Awards Grand Final.

The Birmingham Gateway & Grand Central project – delivered by a team including Mace, Network Rail, Birmingham City Council and Turner & Townsend – was described by RICS judging panel as the most significant investment in regenerating Birmingham in a generation.

More information on this page can be found on the Official RICS website here.

The first section of Birmingham New Street station opened in April 2013, the new station has  A new concourse three and a half times larger than the 1960s concourse, Refurbished platforms reached by new escalators and lifts, and a Refurbished Pallasades shopping centre and John Lewis store.

Shortage of homes to rent

The UK is facing a “critical rental shortage” which requires a building programme to focus on providing for tenants, a surveyors’ body has said.

At least 1.8 million more households will be looking to rent rather than buy a home by 2025, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) claims.

It has called on the government to offer tax breaks to encourage building and investment in the sector.

The Conservative Party has indicated its focus remains on home ownership.

More details can be found on this BBC website

Rics have stated

“However, new RICS figures show that 86% of landlords have no plans to increase their rental portfolio this year – with that trend set to remain for the next five years. Additionally, a net balance of 58 per cent of RICS estate agents have reported a drop in buy-to-let sales since May.”

4 RICS Awards for Grand Central

The renowned Grand Central & Birmingham Gateway success continues as it scoops the top prize at this year’s RICS Awards, West Midlands. The multi-million pound regeneration outshone in three categories, respectively, before scooping the top accolade of Project of the Year.

The annual event has been running for over ten years and demonstrates the best built environment from the land, property and construction sectors. This year the event, held at Aston Villa Football Ground in Birmingham, played host to over 250 attendees to celebrate some of the region’s best initiatives.

The winners of the eight categories are as follows:

  • Building Conservation – The Master’s House, Herefordshire
  • Commercial – Birmingham Grand Central, Birmingham
  • Community Benefit – Stirchley Baths, Birmingham
  • Design through Innovation – The Old Fire Station, Birmingham
  • Infrastructure – Birmingham Gateway, Birmingham
  • Regeneration – Grand Central & Birmingham Gateway, Birmingham
  • Residential – The School Yard Phase II, Birmingham
  • Tourism & Leisure – British Motor Museum Collections Centre, Gaydon