I admire your tenacity here - i suspect the builder/supplier of the fireplace and vat office are being particularly unhelpful her.
contribution to a gas fire and fireplace that was installed prior to completion.
Ok firstup you may need to get the builder agree these goods were installed prior to completion - this would remove any doubt that they wouldn't be eligible based on date of occupation etc- sounds like this fact is a given.
quote]This reasoning was that because it was his supplier who had installed it (as opposed to his building company itself) we had to pay VAT. I don't think this can be correct because the builder paid the supplier, the builder paid the bulk of the cost and the builder arranged access etc.
13.8.1 is clear that a fireplace and a heating system can be building materials and would therefore be fine with regard to all aspects of being zero rated with no input vat claims blocked for the contractor.
If your builder is billing you it seems clear cut to me that section 12.1 confirms he can zero rate the item and also reclaim any vat he was charged by his supplier - although the supplier could zero rate their work under 11.2.
So just point them back to 12.1 and 13.8.1 and at the same time confirm that it's not your problem in the first case as you as an individual confirmed with the builder that there would be no vat charged (date and time of conversation) and therefore the contracted price you agreed is all that you will pay whatever the vat outcome.
Note it's not particularly my area of speciality and notice 708 isn't the easiest to follow section to section without missing something in a different section- so there is possibly something i could be missing if this is the case hopefully someone else will be kind enough to correct me.
What is particularly is annoying is that the vat office won't confirm the answer - sometimes prodding them with the relvant subsections will make them change thjeir mind - you may want to ring them back though and ask why they have their doubts - i always worry if they have doubts. Note you should not accept an individual officers inability to understand the legislation as an excuse - generally ask for an experience technical officer or for a callback if they are being wishy washy.
If it turns out i have missed something that you find out later please update the thread for completeness thanks.