British housebuilders saving HMRC millions of pounds by not reclaiming VAT on their projects

The amount of unclaimed tax left by self builders in HMRC’s pothole could be enough to fund one new building project for nearly every day of the year, the latest figures show. The recent market report reveals that HMRC is potentially benefiting to the tune of £109 million, as over a quarter (28 per cent) of British housebuilders are not reclaiming the VAT on their projects, after spending an average of £305,943 per dwelling (excluding land).

Out of the self-builders who usually reclaim their VAT, 83 per cent do so through the Government’s 431NB scheme, while the remainder claimed it through their builder (16 per cent) and only one per cent reclaimed it through their own business. 

The survey was carried out by Homebuilding & Renovating ahead of its next show which is taking place in London in September.

Jason Orme, spokesperson for Homebuilding & Renovating, says:

“Many self-builders are getting into the expensive habit of completing their projects and not reclaiming any of their tax back. The main reason could be the fact that they’re not aware of this option. With the right guidance, self-builders can successfully reclaim their VAT by following the guidance issued through HMRC form 431NB.”

The Self & Custom Build Market Report 2017, comprising 112 pages, can be purchased online via: or at the publishing company’s stand at The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show (22-24 September, ExCeL, London, priced at £750 + vat. 

The main source of data that this report is based on is an entirely new comprehensive consumer survey of 500 self-builders who had either recently completed or are about to complete their project. This research was conducted via an online survey in 2017. The overall analysis was compiled based on statistics from HMRC, DCLG and more.