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Are there any tax breaks for providing dwellings from commercial premises?

Question
I am thinking about investing in the purchase of a commercial premises with a view to converting it into a residential dwelling for sale. I was told that there are some tax breaks when providing dwellings where before there was none. Can you point me in the right direction to find out more?

Arthur Weller Replies:
There are two VAT matters here of interest to you:
a) If you convert a non-residential building into a new eligible dwelling you may be able to zero rate the first sale.  Look at HMRC VAT Public Notice 708 section 5.
b) VAT is charged at the reduced rate of 5% on the supply of services and building materials for the conversion of non residential property into dwellings or into multiple occupancy dwellings (e.g. bed-sit accommodation). Look at the above, section 7. In both of these matters there are a number of conditions that must be complied with, in order to benefit from the tax break.
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Property Tax Insider This sample question and answer is taken from Property Tax Insider, a monthly UK tax saving magazine for landlords and property investors.

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