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This publication is available at https: This notice cancels and replaces Notice March Details of the main changes to the previous version can be found in paragraph 1. This notice explains when transactions involving land and buildings are exempt from VAT. We recommend that you also read Notice A Opting to tax land and buildings. The land law in Scotland differs in many ways from that in England and Wales. In particular, changes have been made to:. You should read this notice if you make, or intend to make, supplies of any interest in land, buildings or civil engineering works.
Schedule 9, Group 1 specifies those supplies of land and buildings that are exempt from VAT and those that are excluded from the exemption. You make a supply of land by making a grant of an interest in, right over or licence to occupy land in return for a payment or consideration. If you make free supplies of land you should read paragraph 7.
A grant includes an assignment or surrender. UK law currently exempts the supply of rights over land. However, these are often supplied together with freehold or leasehold interests in land and form part of a single supply. For example, a lease may be granted of a single floor in an office block with an easement over the common areas, such as reception and lifts, to allow the lessee to access his floor.
In such cases the supply of the right over land in this case the easement will share the same tax treatment as the principal supply. This is the case if the licensee is granted right of occupation of:. Where a licence to occupy is granted together with other goods and services as part of a single supply, the nature of the overarching supply will determine how it should be categorised for VAT purposes. For examples of supplies that are licences to occupy land see paragraph 2.
For examples of supplies that are not licences to occupy see paragraph 2. The grant, assignment or surrender of an interest in, right over or licence to occupy land is normally exempt from VAT. There are exceptions to this general exemption:. You can opt to tax land including buildings. Once you have opted to tax any supplies you make of the opted land will normally be standard-rated. Please read Notice A Opting to tax land and buildings for more information.
For the purposes of this paragraph a commercial building is any building that is not designed as a dwelling or number of dwellings nor intended for use solely for relevant residential or relevant charitable purposes. For the meaning of these terms, see Notice Buildings and construction. Examples of commercial buildings are shops, factories, warehouses and offices. A building is new for 3 years from the date that it is completed.
The date of completion is the date the certificate of practical completion is issued, or the date the building is fully occupied, whichever happens first. All freehold sales that take place within the 3-year period are standard-rated.
However, leasehold sales are exempt subject to the option to tax - see notice A Opting to tax land and buildings. Examples of civil engineering works are roads, bridges, airfields, oil refineries and pipes used for mains services. A civil engineering work is new for 3 years from the date it is completed. The date of completion is the date the certificate of completion is issued by an engineer, or the date it is first fully used - whichever happens first. If you sell the freehold of some bare land, but that land is ancillary to new or part completed civil engineering works, such as an airfield or oil refinery, you are making a single standard-rated supply.
If you sell the freehold of land containing new civil engineering works but those works are a minor part of the supply, you are making a supply of exempt land unless you have opted to tax. An example of this is the sale of a development site on which you have built roads and laid pipes for drainage. It would also be the case where you sell individual building plots on which connections to mains services have been constructed. The services of constructing civil engineering works might be zero rated if in the course of construction of a new dwelling.
See Notice Buildings and construction. If you grant viewing accommodation, such as boxes at a sports ground, theatre, concert hall or other place of entertainment, your supply is excluded from exemption and standard-rated. This includes any accommodation that is intended for use by individuals or groups for viewing a sporting event, show or other form of entertainment, regardless of whether the entertainment is actually in progress when the accommodation is used.
If you let an entire theatre, concert hall or other place of entertainment your supply is normally exempt, unless you have opted to tax. If you provide facilities for parking vehicles your supply will normally be standard-rated. There are exceptions to this general rule. This section will help you decide the liability of your supplies. If you make a grant of the right to use facilities which are either designed for parking vehicles or provided specifically for that purpose your supply is standard-rated except in the circumstances described in paragraphs 4.
The following are examples of standard-rated supplies of parking facilities:. If you grant an interest in, right over or licence to occupy land in the following circumstances, your supply will be exempt, unless you have opted to tax:. If you are making a zero rated sale or long lease of a building designed as a dwelling or number of dwellings see Notice Buildings and construction and you supply a garage or other parking facility to the purchaser of the dwelling, you can zero rate the garage or other parking facility if:.
Garages are also treated as part of a zero rated dwelling if constructed at the same time or converted from a non-residential building at the same time and intended to be occupied with the dwelling see Notice Buildings and construction. However, zero rating can only apply to the extent that the consideration is in the form of a premium or first payment of rent for the sale or long lease of the dwelling and parking. This may happen, for example, if a developer sells a long lease of a flat to an individual who decides several months later to purchase a long lease in a parking space within the site of the block of flats from the same developer.
In the case of a long lease, zero rating only applies to the extent that consideration is in the form of a premium or first rental payment for the parking space.
The VAT treatment of the letting of parking facilities to owners of dwellings will depend on the arrangements. However, the following general principles apply:. Where the freehold of a dwelling has been purchased and a licence or letting agreement for parking facilities is granted at a later date under a separate contract or agreement, supplies under the licence agreement are standard rated.
This is because there are no periodic supplies of domestic accommodation with which to associate the supplies of parking facilities.
Where a leasehold of a dwelling has been purchased in return for a premium and the use of parking facilities are granted at a later date under a separate contract or agreement, the supplies of the parking facilities are normally standard rated.
The above does not apply to the provision of parking in conjunction with holiday accommodation. This is normally standard rated - see Notice Buildings and construction. The letting of garages or parking spaces in conjunction with the letting of dwellings for permanent residential use under shorthold tenancy agreements or similar is exempt providing that:.
In some cases the dwelling and parking facilities can be the subject of separate letting agreements entered into at separate times. This can occur, for example, where an existing tenant agrees to rent a garage.
In such circumstances the supplies of the dwelling and parking facilities can still be treated as single exempt supplies of domestic accommodation as long as:. The position above contrasts with that applicable where leases have been purchased in return for premiums and periodic rents are not payable.
The position above applies to shared ownership properties as long as the purchaser continues to pay rent for the remaining share in the property. Where parking facilities are supplied in conjunction with holiday accommodation the supply is normally standard rated see Notice Building and construction for more information. If you grant a lease in commercial premises under an agreement that includes the provision of parking facilities, this is treated as a single supply the parking has the same VAT liability as the commercial premises provided that.
The same treatment applies where the agreement for the lease of the premises includes an obligation on the tenant to accept a later grant of parking facilities if or when they become available. This means that if the rents from the commercial premises are exempt from VAT, the parking facilities will also be exempt.
In other circumstances the provision of parking facilities in conjunction with the letting of commercial property will normally be a separate standard rated supply.
Where the agreements allow the actual number of parking spaces to be varied from year to year this will not normally affect the position of the parking facilities as part of a single supply of the commercial premises. If you supply a garage or parking facility at a seasonal or holiday caravan park your supply is always standard-rated.
If you supply a garage in conjunction with the sale of a new caravan your supply is standard-rated. If you supply a garage or parking space in conjunction with the supply of a permanent residential caravan pitch your supply is exempt providing:.
If you supply a mooring and garage or parking space to a houseboat owner your supply of the garage or parking space is also exempt providing it is reasonably close to the mooring. If you let facilities for playing any sport or for taking part in any physical recreation your supply is normally standard-rated.
But, if the let is for over 24 hours or is for a series of sessions your supply may be exempt. Please see paragraph 5. Premises are sports facilities if they are designed or adapted for playing any sport or taking part in any physical recreation, such as swimming pools, football pitches, dance studios and skating rinks.
Each court or pitch or lane in the case of bowling alley, curling rink or swimming pool is a separate sports facility. General purpose halls, such as village or church halls, which merely have floor markings are not themselves classed as sports facilities and the letting of such halls is exempt even when let for playing a sport.
Similarly, school halls or similar but not gymnasiums are treated as exempt providing it is the bare hall that is provided.
However, if equipment such as racquets and nets are provided along with the hall the supply is of standard rated sports facilities. If you make a single let of sports or physical recreation facilities for a continuous period of over 24 hours to the same person your supply is exempt, unless you have opted to tax. However, the person to whom you let the facilities must have exclusive control of them throughout the letting period.
If you let out sports and physical recreation facilities for a series of sessions your supply is exempt unless you have opted to tax when you meet all the following conditions:. A sporting right is the right to take game or fish from land. The supply of sporting rights is normally standard-rated. If the sporting rights form part of the supply of some land, there are occasions when the liability of the sporting rights will follow the liability of that land. Please see paragraph 6.
If you sell sporting rights as part of the freehold sale of the land over which those rights may be exercised, your supply will be exempt unless you have opted to tax.