If you are building a house for yourself you have long been able to claim the VAT on building materials using a special scheme, the DIY Housebuilder Scheme. The scheme can also be used by people converting a non-residential building into a house for themselves to claim VAT on the conversion costs.

However, the scheme had hardly changed over the years and two issues caused particular problems for claimants.  The first was the deadline of three months after completion of the house in which to submit the claim.  The second was the requirement that the claim was made on paper accompanied by the original invoices.

After years of complaints from the tax profession and other interested parties the regulations relating to these two issues have finally been changed.

Deadline for submission of claims

For houses completed before 5 December 2023 the deadline remains 3 months after completion.

For houses completed on or after 5 December 2023 the deadline is 6 months after completion.

What HMRC means by completion can be confusing, and has led to many tribunal cases, so you must read the DIY claim guidance carefully to understand when your house is complete for the purposes of the claim.  The date of completion sets the clock running on the period in which you must submit the claim.

Online submission

The claim may now be submitted online.  You will need a Government Gateway account in order to use the service.

HMRC guidance on making a claim is at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/vat-refunds-using-the-diy-housebuilder-scheme