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The combined elements of VAT and property have been highly contentious ever since the 1980s.
There was a difference of opinion between the UK and Europe, with the latter taking the upper hand. The result was that commercial land and property transactions were no longer zero rated, but either standard rated, or exempt from VAT, with an option available for the vendor to charge VAT.
- Should VAT be charged on a transaction?
- Has the vendor properly opted to tax the property?
- Can the purchaser reclaim any VAT charged by the vendor?
- Is the transaction a TOGC (Transfer of a Going Concern)? In which case there is no VAT anyway.