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Course Talk - VAT reverse charge for construction services

Posted on 2 October 2019SharePrint

I was delighted to attend the third presentation of VAT Reverse Charge for Construction Services presented by Eric Miller, a VAT expert with detailed knowledge and experience of the construction industry. He has been presenting VAT courses for UK Training for many years as well as managing his own practice, VAT Matters.

The course focused everyone's minds on the impact of the changes taking place on 1st October 2020. It really did get the audience thinking, not just about the changes in VAT procedures but also, perhaps more significantly, the commercial consequences. Many of the subcontractors were alarmed about the potential impact on cash flow.

There was a wide range of people attending - they all brought their own concerns and experiences to the course which was great in terms of interaction. Clearly everyone was benefitting, and Eric handled the audience extremely well, reminding them 'not to shoot the messenger' when some of the strange requirements laid down by HMRC were being discussed. One delegate expressed the view that HMRC were treating firms like schoolchildren when a teacher gives detention to a whole class where there is a possibility that only one child may have done something wrong.

Eric's sense of humour prevailed throughout. He pointed concerned delegates in the right direction including recommending that they stringently review their existing contractual arrangements with suppliers and customers.

I came away thinking how much there is for construction companies to do to prepare for the changes - particularly subcontractors. Many people said how grateful they were to have attended now – giving them plenty of time to prepare for the changes. One person said to me "It's not just a VAT issue, it's a commercial issue".

I might be bound to say it was a great course, but I must say it was. It will be rolled out many times between now and next October. You can find all dates along with a full course description here

Written by Stephen Smith, Managing Director