Domestic VAT Reverse Charge 2021 for Building and Construction Services

Domestic VAT Reverse Charge 2021

The domestic VAT reverse charge for building and construction services finally comes into effect on 1 March 2021. The start date was originally 1 October 2019, but it was postponed by one year until 1 October 2020 to allow those affected more time to prepare. The start date was further delayed – until 1 March 2021 — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Detailed guidance on the charge can be found on the website.

Nature of the Charge

Under the domestic VAT reverse charge, the customer receiving the service must pay the associated VAT to HMRC rather than paying it to the supplier. The charge will be relevant to you if you are an individual or a business that is registered for VAT in the UK, and you supply or receive specified services that are reported under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). If you are a customer, you will pay the supplier the amount net of VAT and pay the VAT to HMRC. If you are a supplier, you will receive payment net of VAT and will no longer need to pay the VAT to HMRC.

Preparing for the Charge

If you are an individual or business that falls within the scope of the charge, you will need to ensure that you are ready to apply it from 1 March 2021. In preparation, you will need to check that your accounting systems and software can cope with the reverse VAT charge, and upgrade them if necessary. You should also ensure that any staff who deal with VAT understand the changes and what they need to do to comply. It is also prudent to assess how the charge will impact on your cash flow, particular if you supply services that fall within the scope of the charge as you will no longer receive the associated VAT. 

Completing the VAT Return

If you are a supplier, you must not enter any output tax on any sales that fall within the domestic VAT reverse charge on building and construction services on your VAT return. Instead, you only need to enter the net sales value. If you are a customer purchasing services within the scope of the charge, you must account for the associated VAT to HMRC by including it as output tax on your VAT return. You should not enter the net value of the purchase as a net sale. You can reclaim the input tax on your reverse charge purchases in accordance with normal VAT rules. 

Help and Advice

We can help you to prepare for the introduction of the charge, and comply with your obligations in relation to it.


Lotuswise Chartered Accountants and Business Consultants can help you and your business succeed. To find out how, please contact us. To also get even more useful business and finance information and tax advice tips, check out our app on Google or Apple stores.

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