The VAT reverse charge and how it will affect the construction industry

This year could be the most challenging year yet for the construction industry, as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that the VAT reverse charge will commence 1 October 2019.

The Government announced in the 2017 autumn budget statement that they intended to implement a VAT reverse charge scheme.

Further to this, in November 2018, the draft order for the “VAT Reverse Charge for Construction Services” was issued under section 55A of the VAT Act 1994.

HMRC has now finalised and published the technicalities of the scheme, and the new regime is set to go live on 1 October 2019.

The new scheme will mean all VAT being paid between construction firms e.g. contractor to subcontractor and on subcontractor to subcontractor, will be reverse charged. This means that the VAT will not be paid to the subcontractor, it will be paid directly to HMRC.

This will apply to all payments made which operate under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). For example, a contractor who owes a subcontractor £100 plus £20 VAT will only pay the subcontractor £100 and will pay the VAT straight to HMRC.

There is a growing concern within industry bodies that the construction industry is neither ready for the logistical requirements of this change, nor the practical commercial consequences.

As a result of these changes, it is likely to impact many companies cash flow and IT accounting systems. Therefore construction firms need to start planning now, to ensure you will be ready and able to adjust when the time comes, get in touch with us today.

Data protection: what happens if we leave the EU without a deal?

UK businesses who share data with organisations in the European Economic Area (EEA) will need to take steps to ensure they continue to comply with data protection laws should the UK leave the EU without a deal.

The warning comes as the Prime Minister fails to get Parliament to agree to her Brexit withdrawal bill, increasing the prospect of a no-deal outcome.

In light of this, the Government has begun to publish an abundance of guidance for businesses, detailing what to do and how to prepare for changes, should we leave with no deal in place.

As part of this guidance, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has produced a six-step checklist to help businesses to continue sharing data legally after 31 March 2019.

The regulator said the UK does not intend to impose additional requirements on transfers of personal data from the UK to the EEA, therefore organisations will be able to send personal data to organisations in the EEA as they do currently.

However, without a legal agreement in place, transfers of personal data from the EEA to the UK will become restricted once the UK has left the EU.

Because of this, the Government advises that organisations who receive personal data from organisations in the EU should consider what changes they may need to make to continue complying with the general data protection regulation (GDPR) and other legal obligations.

The six-step checklist, found here, may help you navigate this process.

The following guides may also help:

For more help and advice, please get in touch with our expert Brexit advisory team.