When making an online application for VAT registration you will be asked if the business is involved with land and property. If you tick “yes” you then get another form (VAT5L) to complete online. It’s one of those forms that you cannot progress past a page without completing it, so you cannot review the whole form to see what information you will need. To add to this it’s been written in such a way that the options given don’t always cover the planned activities of the business.
We made an old fashioned paper application for VAT registration for a property developer business. HMRC then contacted us to say that not only would the application need a completed VAT5L, but also proof that the entity owned the property and that there was effective planning permission for the works to be done. We were also told that this was standard practice for such registration and had been for several years; although it seems new to us. We have yet to hear from HMRC if this means a business seeking planning permission may be denied VAT registration.