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Revenue Not Happy With The Builders Again

It seems Revenue are not happy with the builders again!

Revenue’s ears were pricked last summer with an increase in construction activity and reported their intentions in Revenue Brief 77/15 to increase “Compliance Interventions”.

As reported in their most recent publication  Revenue Brief 33/16 on 23rd March, there seems to be a lack of compliance in relation to RCT and VAT in the construction industry.

No surprise there right?

Heres some of what they found;

  • Failure on the part of the Principal contractor to self account for the VAT.
  • Incorrect completion of the VAT invoice/document by the Sub-contractor.
  • Application of the two thirds rule where the VAT Reverse Charge applies.
  • Completing the VAT 3 incorrectly (ignoring the reverse charge altogether).
  • Failure to apply the VAT Reverse Charge where there is a construction supply between connected parties.

The Revenue report states;

“As part of our ongoing programme of interventions in the construction sector, Revenue will be paying particular attention to how the VAT Reverse Charge is being operated. Penalties will be applied where appropriate.”

A difficult industry to Monitor

  • The construction sector has always been the bad boy of Irish business and is a difficult sector of industry to monitor for Revenue officials, purely by virtue of the fact it’s manual labour and hard to quantify.

    It’s not like the retail game for example where selling widgets can actually be counted and recorded in stock. Construction workers come and go and it’s a lot easier for guys and girls in the business of trading labour to hide income.

    Every business owner in the country will do whatever they can to minimise liabilities to Revenue, and some will take riskier risks than others. That’s a fact and the construction industry is no different.

    So it’s like a game of cat and mouse, and it seems that the cat is lively and the mice need to watch out.

    What’s The Bottom Line?

    The bottom line is Revenue are hard on the tail of the builders, and if you are in the construction industry you need to ensure that your activities stay compliant.

    There’s no second chances with Revenue and so in order to avoid penalties and fines better ensure your VAT and RCT is up to scratch.

What you should know

  • Here’s a few things you can do to stay compliant and minimise the chance of fines and penalties.

    • The VAT reverse charge does not apply in every case. Make sure you understand where in does apply.
    • Where the ex VAT cost of goods exceeds labour by two thirds, the VAT rate for the goods is applied.
    • The VAT reverse charge does not apply where sub-contractors supply goods only.
    • Ensure your accounting system can interface with the eRCT system.
    • Make sure you understand the eRCT system currently in place. Watch the video on the Revenue website for an introduction.

    Also Check out the Revenue Guide for Principles and Sub-Contractors

    If you have any questions in relation to any of the above and you wish to ensure compliance, get in touch with me below.

    Contact Joe Cunnane