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Sign the e-petition to bring back zero rate VAT on alterations to listed churches

The Church of England has today created an e-petition calling on the Chancellor to bring back zero rate VAT to alterations to the CofE's 12,500 listed churches. It follows the recent launch of a consultation by HM Revenue & Customs on VAT charging to approved alterations to listed buildings, which closes on 4 May 2012.

The e-petition can be signed online now at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32229 .

In a letter to the Chancellor, sent today, Anne Sloman, chair of the Church Buildings Council, writes that a very large proportion of the alterations to listed churches "are concerned with making these buildings viable for use by the wide community… The imposition of 20 per cent VAT on this work means in practice most of it will simply stop… it seems that this VAT proposal was aimed at householders and that the implications for the Church were not fully understood."

The Bishop of London and the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Tony Baldry MP, have also written letters to the Chancellor to voice serious concerns about the proposed imposition of VAT on alterations to listed buildings.

Notes

Forty-five per cent of England's Grade I listed buildings are Church of England churches.

The consultation document VAT: Addressing Borderline Anomalies, published on 21 March 2012, is available here: http://bit.ly/HmjpDV

The letters from the Bishop of London, Second Church Estates Commissioner and Anne Sloman are available here: http://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2012/03/statement-on-budget-2012-vat-to-be-charged-at-20-percent-on-alterations-to-listed-churches.aspx

This QR code, which links to the e-petition, is available as a free download for use on posters and websites:

VAT QR code