Letter: VAT anomalies build a burden

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The Independent Online
IF ONLY Dr Fran Dinshaw of St Catherine's was correct in believing that the listing of a building means that VAT is not payable on repairs ('Colleges and schools fear listed building straitjacket', 24 January).

One of the anomalies in the application of VAT to listed buildings is that repairs are 'standard rated' for VAT whereas alterations which have received listed building consent are exempt - an application of the VAT rules which encourages alteration rather than repair.

Despite constant requests from those interested in the preservation of buildings, the Government steadfastly refuses to amend this situation, which would significantly ease the financial burden of repairs on those accepting the responsibility of ownership of a listed building.

Malcolm D Crowder

Association of Preservation

Trusts, Swinton, Manchester