The National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) are calling for VAT to be removed from all Home Improvement work.

Cowboy builderThe NHIC claim the 20% rate is proving a deterrent to many homeowners when it comes to employing workmen. They will soon set up a petition to gauge public reaction to this proposal, and we will keep you informed when they release details.

In DIY Doctor’s opinion this would stimulate the building industry; even if the rate of VAT was cut to 5% for Home Improvements it would make the cost of legal works more affordable. This would help to stop the trend of the unsuspecting public employing rogue traders who often carry out cash jobs to evade paying VAT. Customers avoiding VAT are exposing themselves by effectively signing away any guarantees on materials and workmanship when they pay this way.

The other consequence of a lower VAT rate would be that reputable builders would be operating on a more level playing field, so that the many honest and responsible builders are not excluded from the bidding by homeowners who are cutting corners in this way. This could help squeeze out Rogue Traders from the marketplace entirely. Mike Edwards from DIY Doctor says “It is much easier for a homeowner to see that paying a little extra for peace of mind is good value for money, a Cowboy Builder offering to save them nearly a quarter of their bill in taxes sometimes proves too much temptation, especially in the current economic climate”. For links to reputable tradesman through Trustmark please click here, and read more about the Trustmark scheme.

It must be preferable for the government to collect more taxes at a lower rate than to accept the current black market which is costing the country in non-payment of taxes; honest builders in employment; and the public who are unwittingly employing the Cowboys to save money.

You can find out more information on how to avoid Cowboy builders by clicking through to the DIY Doctor Home Improver Protection Solution (HIPS).

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