VAT reverse charge could hit the construction sector

HMRC has launched a new consultation inviting comments from interested parties regarding the introduction of new VAT reverse charge legislation for certain construction services. The new legislation will make the supply of construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic reverse charge.

This move is part of the government’s measures to combat what is known as missing trader fraud in the construction sector where VAT due to HMRC is never paid. This type of fraud has been common in other business sectors trading in goods such as mobile telephones, computer chips and emissions allowances where the reverse charge has already been introduced. Using the reverse charge procedure changes the usual VAT treatment so that the customer is liable to account for the VAT due rather than the supplier. This removes the ability for fraudsters to defraud the public purse by adding VAT to their bills and then disappearing without making payment to HMRC.

The reverse charge will be most relevant to sub-contractors and contractors carrying out supplies reported through the Construction Industry Scheme. These changes will lead to many administrative changes for some 100,00 to 150,000 businesses in this sector, including many small businesses. This will include setting up new systems to deal with the changes as well as ongoing administrative issues dealing with the reverse change. The government has recognised this and said they will provide a long lead in time to help businesses adjust. The changes were first announced in Autumn 2017 and are expected to take effect from 1 October 2019.

Posted by Cassey Nixon on

24th July 2018

Categories

  • MTD for VAT to launch April 2019

    The introduction of MTD (Making Tax Digital) for VAT will affect businesses with a turnover above the current VAT threshold of £85,000. These businesses will be required to keep digital records and provide regular digital updates to HMRC for VAT purposes using MTD for VAT. There will be some additional preparation time for a small number […]

  • Who should submit a Self-Assessment ?

    There are a number of reasons why a taxpayer should complete a Self Assessment return. This includes, if they are self-employed, a company director, have an annual income over £100,000 and / or have income from savings, investment or property. Taxpayers that need to complete a Self Assessment return for the first time, should inform HMRC […]