EEBS work regularly behind the scenes with various authorities (HMRC, GLAA etc) to support both specific and more generalised compliance issues on behalf of clients – usually without the need for the client to even be aware of the issue!

Potential Gross Status Issue for Clients Using Sage:

One issue that did need urgent attention came to light whilst supporting a client through an HMRC inspection. Whilst considering the CIS300 reporting protocols we were made aware of an error that sometimes pops up with clients who use Sage: It’s reasonably easy to specify the incorrect allocation of payments for Gross Status sub-contractors when setting up company details where all payments to gross status sub-contractors are recorded as materials only, rather than separate entries for labour and materials.  And, of course, once set-up, if the error is missed early-on most clients will spend no time reviewing the contents of what is, for all intents and purposes just a piece of admin:  The potential problem arises if the issue is spotted as part of an inspection, and whilst it’s true that this error does not give rise to a loss of revenue for HMRC, the contractor making this error (especially if it’s been going on for years) risks failing the TTQT (Tax treatment qualifying Test), and potentially losing gross payment status!

We were able to alert two of our clients who were indeed making this mistake, so hopefully averting any nasty issues in the future!

The Big Issue – Right to Work Rules

Whilst Northern Ireland continues to grab the headlines regarding the post Brexit border in the Irish sea, the big issue for us in construction continues to be the Right to Work rules.  The only way now to bring in skilled labour from abroad is to act as a sponsor, and to engage those workers under PAYE contracts.  Additional checks must also be made when engaging workers for the first time: identity checks must be completed on all individuals, and Right to Work share codes must be verified.   Don’t worry: this is all part of the EEBS on-boarding process that we complete for new sub-contractors, so it should be one less thing for you to worry about – if you were even aware of it in the first place!