Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Customs and Excise v Zielinski Baker and Partners Limited: HL 26 Feb 2004

The commissioners sought to charge to VAT charges for works which had been carried out to a building within the curtilage of a listed building. The taxpayer sought zero-rating.
Held: The outbuilding to which alterations were made must have been a ‘protected building’. Note (1) defines a protected building as both ‘a building which is designed to remain as or become a dwelling house’ and it must be a ‘listed building, within the meaning of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990’. Since the new building would not be a dwelling, the claim failed the first test, and the works were not zero-rated (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead dissenting).


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood


[2004] BTC 5249, [2004] 1 WLR 707, [2004] STI 502, [2004] STC 456, [2004] 10 EGCS 185, [2004] 2 All ER 141, [2004] BVC 309, [2004] UKHL 7, Times 27-Feb-2004, Gazette 25-Mar-2004


House of Lords, Bailii


Value Added Tax Act 1994 Sch 8 Grp 6, Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990


England and Wales


Appeal fromZielinski Baker and Partners Ltd v Commissioners of Customs and Excise CA 12-May-2002
Taxpayers sought exemption from VAT for works to a building. The commissioners claimed that the main building was not a dwelling, and that therefore the outbuilding would not be exempt.
Held: The main building was listed, and the outbuilding . .
CitedDebenhams Plc v Westminster City Council HL 1987
The extended definition of ‘listed building’ in section 54(9) applied equally for the purposes of paragraph 2(c) of Schedule 1 of the 1967 Act. No rates were to be payable in respect of a hereditament for any period during which it was included in a . .
CitedCommission v United Kingdom ECJ 21-Jun-1988
Europa An action by the Commission pursuant to Article 169 of the Treaty against a Member State for failure to fulfil its obligations, the bringing of which is a matter for the Commission in its entire . .
CitedShimizu (UK) Ltd v Westminster City Council HL 11-Feb-1997
The removal of a listed building’s chimney stacks was an alteration allowing a claim for compensation. The phrases ‘alteration’ and ‘demolition’ are mutually exclusive. Although part of a building may be a listed building, a part of a listed . .
CitedSecretary of State for Environment, Transport and Regions and Another v Skerritts of Nottingham Ltd CA 25-Feb-2000
The meaning of ‘curtilage’ whilst not strictly a term of art had caused considerable difficulties. There was nothing inherent in the concept to imply any limitation that the area should be small. In this case the curtilage of a manor house could . .
CitedCustoms and Excise Commissioners v Viva Gas Appliances Limited HL 1983
Any work on the fabric of a building constituted its alteration ‘except that which is so slight or trivial as to attract the application of the de minimis rule’. The word ‘demolition’ meant destroying the building as a whole. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

VAT, Construction

Updated: 10 June 2022; Ref: scu.193888