Trade body welcomes resolution to long-running VAT issue

Competition will get better for conveyancers and their clients in 2017, says CoPSO

The Council of Property Search Organisation (CoPSO), a trade body for the property search industry, is pleased that the long-running saga about adding VAT to CON29 searches produced by local authorities has finally been resolved. This follows the announcement that VAT must be applied to fees that local authorities charge, with effect from 1st January 2017.

There has never been any doubt from the perspective of CoPSO that provision of the CON29 is a non-statutory commercial activity and that VAT should therefore be applied. The Organisation say the fact that it has taken the Government and local authorities so many years to address this issue is very regrettable.

James Sherwood Rogers, Chairman of CoPSO said: “At least from 1st January 2017 our members will be able to compete on a level playing field when it comes to the provision of regulated personal searches to their customers. CoPSO has engaged with HMRC over many years seeking resolution to the unacceptable position whereby local authorities have enjoyed a price advantage in offering the CON29 to conveyancers and their clients. A level playing field will now exist as between public and private sectors which ultimately can only be to the benefit of homebuyers.”

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