HMRC changes in processing option to tax form

From 1 February 2023, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will no longer confirm the existence of an option to tax when requested to do so by property owners or solicitors, except in specific circumstances. These circumstances are limited to where the option to tax was likely to have been notified more than 6 years ago or if the enquiry is from an appointed receiver or insolvency practitioner administering the property in question.

In addition, HMRC will no longer issue option to tax acknowledgement letters once an option to tax has been notified. Property owners will therefore need to keep a record of the notification of their option to tax and we strongly recommend that all notifications are sent to HMRC via email to: The email should include in the subject line the full property address and the effective date of the option to tax. This is because an automated response to the email will be received, which can be used as evidence that the option to tax has been notified to HMRC. Property owners and businesses are currently required to keep their VAT records, including options to tax, for six years, however, we advise that these records will now need to be kept throughout the ownership of the property in question to ensure that the correct tax treatment is applied on a sale or lease. 

You can read more about the changes on the Goverment website here.

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Partner, Commercial Property, Bishop's Stortford office

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