General Industry Updates

The Painting and Decorating Association's hub for the latest general industry updates.

Last updated: 13 December 2021

Wright Hassall VAT Newsletter – December 2021

Welcome to the first VAT newsletter from Wright Hassall. 

Below are articles on some of the significant VAT changes in 2021. We also have two guest articles: tax risks in insolvency; and a victory against tax follower notices and accelerated payment notices. If you have any queries, we’d be delighted to discuss. 

2021 has been quite a year for VAT: 

1. Brexit 
Brexit had already begun one hour before the new year. The rapidly-introduced changes affected businesses importing/exporting goods, while the impact on services was often overlooked. Queries we received were varied: should postponed VAT accounting be used, how are services affected, do margin scheme businesses now cease trading, what happens to trade involving Northern Ireland, how can online marketplaces support their sellers through the changes, and many more. Communication was always part of the solution: with suppliers, customers, transporters, EU registration agents and (of course) with the VAT specialist. 

2. DRC 
On 1 March 2021, as Brexit questions reached their height, the domestic reverse charge (DRC) came into effect in the construction industry. Suppliers and customers issued notices to each other declaring which supplies were invoiced with VAT normally and which had VAT removed under the new reverse charge. The boundaries between the two were often blurred and changeable, resulting in disagreements. Communication again was key, enabling agreement to be reached. 

3. EU
1 July 2021 saw more new VAT rules. The new rules affected goods moving from one EU member state to another, goods imported into the EU, e-commerce and online marketplaces, and services. The risk in doing nothing was that suppliers would be required to register for VAT in all 27 EU member states. One Stop Shops were created (three different versions) to reduce the additional VAT registrations from 27 to only one or two. Even then, remodelling the supply chain is often a better alternative. Communication again was key: what will suppliers tell their customers and transporters, do they have a registration agent in the EU and a VAT specialist to guide them? 

4. Other 
Amidst all this, other VAT changes were overshadowed. When compensation is received, this is not outside the scope of VAT according to HMRC (although discussions continue with them); when large companies enter uncertain VAT arrangements, notification to HMRC will be required; and sale and leaseback arrangements aren’t transactions for VAT purposes. The economic impact of Brexit and the pandemic has weakened many businesses: VAT and direct law questions have arisen in insolvency, employment, corporate restructuring, converting commercial property to residential, and so on. 

5. 175 
In more light-heated news, we celebrate Wright Hassall’s stability. Founded in 1846, it’s our 175th anniversary this year. You might know Kevin Hall as a VAT specialist, but he started life as a classicist and he writes about the Roman world 175 decades ago in 271: financial crime, war on terror, the end of a plague – little changes! 

Kevin has spoken and written widely this year and below are some of his articles and recordings, with credit where published by other outlets. More can be found on Wright Hassall’s website.

We’re always happy to receive queries. For more information or to talk through a tentative uncertainty, please get in touch, we’d be happy to discuss.  

NEW: Budget and Spending Review

At yesterday’s (27th) Budget and Spending Review, the Chancellor announced a number of new measures.

Below is a summary of the announcement:

Helping people into work and making work pay

To ensure that work pays, the government is increasing the National Living Wage from £8.91 per hour to £9.50 per hour from April 2022. This is alongside raising the personal tax allowance to £12,570 from April, meaning workers keep more of the money they earn.

In addition, the government will continue supporting people into work with over £6 billion of funding for DWP over the next three years to help people earn more and gain the right skills. There will be targeted additional support for groups needing extra help to get into work and progress. This includes the following:

  • Workers leaving the furlough scheme and making a UC claim will be prioritised through the Job Finding Support (JFS) scheme. They will receive online, tailored, one-to-one support, recruitment advice from a skilled adviser, support with CVs and a mock interview.
  • Older workers – those over 50 – will benefit from additional support. They will receive better information and guidance on later life planning, helping them to plan their career and remain in work. For those who have lost their jobs, this funding will ensure that older job seekers on Universal Credit receive more intensive, tailored support.

Plan for Jobs

Earlier this month (4th October), the Government announced a further £500million to expand the Plan for Jobs package and build on the successes to date, this included:

  • Extending the Youth Offer to 2025 and expanding the eligibility to include 16 and 17 year olds in addition to 18-24 year olds. This provides additional support to unemployed young people on Universal Credit who are searching for work through its Youth Employment Programme, supportive Youth Hubs and specialised employability coaches.
  • Kickstart Scheme being extended to March 2022 – which will mean young people have until the spring to take up one of the scheme’s vacancies.
  • Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) – a provision aimed at claimants who have recently become unemployed – is being extended to September 2022 – which provides light touch support for 6 months for people who have been unemployed for 3 months or more.
  • Support to help people progress in work.  Those in receipt of Universal Credit while working will be able to access work coach support, focusing on career progression advice. Jobcentre Plus specialists will work with local employers to identify local opportunities for people to progress in work.

You can also download this fact sheet, which highlights the support for businesses.

Build UK’s Grenfell Update

Click here to view Build UK’s latest Grenfell update for October 2021.

Publication of a new guide to support employers on their role in delivering quality apprenticeships.

  • A new guide, The road to a quality apprenticeship has been published to help employers understand the steps in delivering high quality, successful apprenticeships in their businesses.
  • The guide provides links to information and tools at different stages of an apprenticeship journey that employers can use to help them ensure a quality experience for their apprentices aiding retention, achievement and therefore the returns that apprentices deliver.
  • The guide is a practical guide to aid employers of any size. It can also be used by providers to help them understand the role employers play in the apprenticeship journey.
  • The road to quality apprenticeship will be followed by similar guides for end-point assessment organisations and apprentices. Together with the provider guide to delivering high quality apprenticeships, they demonstrate the collaborative approach involved in delivering apprenticeships.
  • Please share The road to quality apprenticeships with your colleagues and contacts.

CITB – Freezing of Construction Levy rates & SkillBuild 2021 qualifier competitions

Click here to read the latest newsletter from CITB, which covers details on the freezing of Construction Levy rates and the SkillBuild 2021 qualifier competitions.

Azets Tax Update

Azets’ latest Tax Update newsletter is out, and covers the following content:

  • Tax Top Tips
  • Tax Card 2021/22
  • Upcoming webinars
  • Recent insights
  • Speak to the team

Click here to view it.

Trade Association Forum’s May Newsletter

In this edition, the Trade Association Forum have guidance set out by Government on the further loosening of Covid restrictions as we take another cautious step back to normality.

They also have some interesting data from the ONS on the impact Covid-19 has had on our mental health. There’s also additional HMRC advice and a rallying call regarding climate change, as well as hearing from their partners QANW

TAF will also be hosting its second online event with The Pulse Business, who will be giving them their thoughts on how to improve member engagement, using a Pulse survey.

It will be followed by a third event with their partner QANW, discussing how to design insurance products around your business.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

The P&D Show – where the trade can meet again at last!

The National Painting and Decorating Show, November (23rd & 24th) at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, is well on track to be The Business Boosting Event of 2021 for the P&D professional!

With seven months still to go – and 85% of stand space sold – the exhibitor list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of P&D product suppliers from the UK, Europe and North America .

View more here.

Update from HSE

In this issue, HSE introduce you to the latest free to use tools, including new Talking Toolkits. Keep an eye on HSE’s stress guidance for further developments.

Click here to view HSE’s full bulletin from 30th April.

BUILD UK: Recruit, Train and Retain Update

Click here to view the latest Recruit, Train and Retrain update from Build UK (27 April 2021)

PDA Associate Member Azets: Spring Tax Update

Time to give your finances a spring clean in this new financial year – click here to read Azets Tax Update.

PDA Associate Member Azets: Webinars

The Employment Tax team at Azets are delighted to invite PDA members to their Employment Taxes Spring update.

Join one of their two upcoming webinars, where Azets’ team of experts will consider some key areas that require reporting on P11Ds, or via a PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA), and will also consider these in a COVID context.

Click here to register for the 6th of May, or here for the 13th of May.

Information about the Apprenticeship programmes

Apprenticeship incentive phase 2 incentive payments  increase 

To support employers, incentive payments for apprentices taken on as new employees from 1 April are increasing. Employers will receive £3,000 for new employees of any age who start their apprenticeship from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. You can view the details on GOV.UK. 

Employers can make up to 10 new reservations

From 1 April 2021, we will reset reservation levels for employers who do not pay the Apprenticeship Levy. This will enable employers to make up to 10 new reservations to fund new apprenticeship starts in the financial year 2021 to 2022.  Find out more information on GOV.UK. 

Employers can reserve funds up to 6 months in  advance 

From 1 April 2021, we are extending the reservation period for employers who do not pay the Apprenticeship Levy from 3 to 6 months. This means that from 1 April, these employers will be able to reserve funds up to 6 months before an apprenticeship is planned to start.

CITB’s Latest News

Business Plan

This week, CITB have published their Business Plan, and with it practical solutions to support people into our sector while retaining talent, ensuring access to the  training that is needed across the industry, where it’s needed.

You can read our full business plan by clicking here.

Grants Scheme and Additional Plant-Related Vocational Qualification Unit Grant reinstatement

CITB’s Grants Scheme for this year begins Thursday 1 April and all Grants Scheme rates remain the same as last year.

Applications for last year (from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021) must be submitted by Wednesday 30 June. CITB will also be working to identify applications that were received while the grant had been removed to ensure no one is disadvantaged. You can find out more about available grants and how to apply here on our Grants and Funding page.

Construction Leadership Council’s People Survey

The Construction Leadership Council has launched its latest industry-wide People Survey which will measure the impact of coronavirus on the construction sector and its workforce one year on. Previous surveys helped to secure a range of support for the sector, including funding for the Construction Talent Retention Scheme. 

Your views make a difference, and will help CITB and others direct support effectively, so please spare just ten minutes to complete the online survey. The deadline for responses is Friday 16 April and all information provided will be confidential with no company details required.

Don’t forget to have your say on CITB’s Levy proposals

A reminder that our consultation on the Levy Proposals 2022-25 is open until Sunday 11 April. CITB registered employers can have their say on the way we raise the Levy for the next three years, and give feedback on our plans for supporting construction recovery at