Sir: Ruth Winawer (Letters, 21 March) expresses delight at the unexpected refund on the works of alteration carried out at her listed building. However, the operative word is "alteration". If she had repaired her property, completely as found, she would have had to pay VAT without prospect of reimbursement unless conceivably the work was done in the name of a company registered for VAT.
The present dotty VAT regime penalises those who wish to keep their listed property in good repair without change and rewards those who seek to alter it (with consent).
An Englishman's home is his castle; the trouble is that the VAT man also lives in a "castle"; the designer was Kafka.
Ancient Monuments Society
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