Sunday Times article about listed buildings

I’ve thus far resisted the temptation to turn this blog into a Mr Angry column, but I’ve got to record an element of displeasure about an article about listed buildings that appeared in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago.  It contained an incorrect statement about VAT, attributed to me.

A few days before it appeared, I had a call from one Rosie Millard who is apparently a journalist and media person.  She wanted to know about VAT and listed buildings, and I duly obliged with answering her questions.  The scenario she asked me about was refurbishing a derelict building that had been empty for a number of years.  I told her that this would be zero rated for ‘alterations’ and 5% VAT for repairs.  She was in a bit of a rush and I wasn’t confident that she had understood what I was saying, so I asked her to let me see what she was going to write.  She refused.

Yes, you guessed, she got it wrong and blithely told the world that repairs to listed buildings are liable at 5% VAT.  And since then I have had a large number of calls from listed building owners asking me if I really meant what I allegedly said.  Needless to say, I have pointed out who the real culprit was.

I did email Ms Millard to point out her error, but she has not replied.

Rant over.  [Until the next time someone annoys me…]

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