CIS reverse VAT charging delayed to Oct 2020
09 September 2019
The government has announced that the introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed for a period of 12 months until 1 October 2020.
The announcement on GOV.UK explains that industry representatives had "raised concerns" that many construction sector businesses were not ready to implement the changes on the original date of 1 October 2019. To help them prepare, and to avoid the new rules kicking in at the same time as the UK's potential exit from the European Union, the reverse charge has been delayed for 12 months until 1 October 2020.
A domestic reverse charge means the UK customer who gets supplies of construction services must account for the VAT due on these supplies on their VAT return rather than the UK supplier. This removes the scope for fraudsters to steal the VAT due to HMRC and follows similar measures introduced in response to criminal threats for mobile telephones, computer chips, emissions allowances, gas and electricity, telecommunication services and renewable energy certificates.
Businesses need to adapt their accounting systems for dealing with VAT and there will be a negative impact on the cash-flows for many affected businesses, as they will no longer get VAT payments from customers for services where the reverse charge applies.
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.
In the intervening year, HMRC will focus additional resource on identifying and tackling existing perpetrators of the fraud. It will also work closely with the sector to raise awareness and provide additional guidance and support to make sure all businesses will be ready for the new implementation date.
HRMC recognises that some businesses will have already changed their invoices to meet the needs of the reverse charge and cannot easily change them back in time. Where genuine errors have occurred, HMRC will take into account the fact that the implementation date has changed. Some businesses may have opted for monthly VAT returns ahead of the 1 October 2019 implementation date which they can reverse by using the appropriate stagger option on the HMRC website.
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