VAT Reverse Charge Delayed Until March 2021

The VAT reverse charge for building and construction services has been delayed until 1 March 2021, the government has announced.

The charge had originally been due to commence in October 2020, having previously been delayed by a year in September 2019. But industry chiefs had warned that the Covid-19 pandemic left small and medium-sized (SME) house builders unprepared to adhere to the changes.

Sixteen construction leaders penned a letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak this week calling for the VAT reverse charge to come into effect in 2021 — and the government has granted the request.

The government announced the delay on Friday morning, which has been described by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) as a “victory for common sense”.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, which spearheaded the cross-industry campaign to delay the implementation of the VAT reverse charge, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had significant impacts on cashflow for small to medium-sized (SME) construction firms. The reverse charge VAT is being delayed by five months is a victory for common sense. 

“While the industry called for a delay of one year, five months’ breathing space will go some way to helping them recover. In the meantime, the

Slight Upturn in Construction Activity but Sector Remains in Slowdown

Construction activity increased in May following a steep downturn in April, but the sector remains mired in a slowdown, new data reveals. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the construction industry to return to work last month as the government eased lockdown restrictions, but the sector remains in the worst downturn since 2009.

The findings from the UK Construction Total Activity Index, compiled by IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement (CIPS), revealed May’s industry score was 28.9, up from 8.2 in April, but below the 50 mark which signals industry contraction. 

Construction companies that responded to the index survey reported a rapid drop in new orders received, which was largely attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although respondents also stated that the reopening of construction sites had helped to limit the decline.

Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, said: “A gradual restart of work on site helped to alleviate the downturn in total UK construction output during May, but the latest survey highlighted that ongoing business closures and disruptions across the supply chain held back the extent of recovery”.

Roughly 64% of those surveyed reported a drop in activity during May; only 21% reported an expansion. Those companies recording

5 Things to Know About Solar Panels Before You Install Them

Are you looking to install solar panels on your house, but not sure where to begin? From panel types to financing, we break down the 5 things you need to know about adding solar to your home.

Is your house a good candidate for solar?

The ideal candidate for solar is a house that has:

A New/Young Roof

The typical roof lasts about 20-30 years. If your roof is old, please put a new roof on before installing solar on it. Solar systems last at least 25-30 years, or longer. If the roof structure is old, you may need to get a structural engineer to verify the load imposed by the solar system is adequate.

Minimal Shade

If there are trees or other obstructions that cause the majority of your roof to be shaded, then solar might not be the best option. Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but the panels need sunlight for them to work, so more shade means less available energy.

Few Obstructions

The more solar panels you put on your roof, the more solar production they are capable of. However, if you have obstructions like dormers on your roof, those areas of the roof will provide less