Delay to the implementation of the reverse charge for construction services announced.

HMRC have announced that the introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed until 1 October 2020. 

About the author

+44 (0)20 8037 3114

The domestic reverse charge (referred to as the reverse charge) is a major change to the way VAT is collected in the building and construction industry, which means the customer receiving the service will be required to pay the VAT due to HMRC instead of paying the supplier. 

It will only apply to individuals or businesses registered for VAT in the UK (although it will not apply to consumers). This will affect you if you supply or receive specified services that are reported under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

Industry representatives and tax bodies had raised concerns that many businesses in the construction sector are not ready to implement the VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction, which was due to be implemented 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 recognise that some businesses will have already changed their invoices to meet the needs of the reverse charge and many not be able to 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 option via their accounts on the HMRC website.

If you have any questions, or would like further advice tailored to your business, please get in touch.