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Construction firms warned of October 1 VAT changes

The Hub News Team | 8.9.19

bigstock-Industrial-Bricklayer-Worker-P-141056753***Industry representatives have raised concerns that some businesses in the construction sector are not ready to implement the VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction on 1 October 2019.

To help these businesses and give them more time to prepare, the introduction of the reverse charge has been delayed for a period of 12 months until 1 October 2020. This will also avoid the changes coinciding with Brexit.***

Trades within the construction industry will have to start using a new method of accounting for VAT from the start of October.

New rules are being introduced by HMRC in a bid to tackle VAT fraud and prevent losses to the taxman of up to £100million a year.

The new rules mean that from October 1 VAT paid between construction companies will be reverse charged, changing the way VAT is handled.

As a result, the contractor will have to pay the VAT which is due instead of the subcontractor or supplier.

The HMRC says it will work alongside the construction sector in the first six months of the new regime to help businesses comply and overcome any cashflow issues caused by the changes.

A spokesman said: "HMRC will be operating a light touch period during the first six months where we will assist businesses that are trying to comply, but have struggled for genuine reasons."

The HMRC Business Payment Support Service are aware that some businesses may require assistance with paying their taxes as a result of the loss in cash flow. Any assistance will depend on the specific circumstances of individual cases, but might include granting businesses more time to pay the tax they owe or arranging an instalment plan.

Guidance on the new rules and help for construction firms worried about the impact on their cashflow can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-domestic-reverse-charge-for-building-and-construction-services

And businesses which encounter payment issues can find help and advice here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/business-payment-support-service

Traders who have further concerns or questions can contact HMRC via: indirecttax.vatsncfteam@hmrc.gov.uk

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