Acumist's Blog


VAT Domestic Reverse Charge Delayed

September 16, 2019 in Tax

VAT: Reverse charge for builders delayed until 2020

In a move hailed as a ‘victory for common sense’, the government has announced a 12-month delay to the introduction of the domestic reverse charge VAT for construction services, citing industry concerns and Brexit as the reasons behind the postponement.

In a short briefing on gov.uk, the government announced it would be putting the introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services on ice for a period of 12 months until 1 October 2020.

The brief explained that industry representatives had “raised concerns” that many construction sector businesses were not ready to implement the changes on the original date of 1 October 2019. To help them prepare, and to avoid the new rules kicking in at the same time as the UK’s potential exit from the European Union, the reverse charge has been delayed for 12 months until 1 October 2020.

‘Construction chaos’ avoided?

Industry insiders, including the largest trade association in the UK’s construction sector, had called on the government to delay the changes, citing research findings that the charge could lead to a spike in company insolvencies and ‘construction chaos’.

In a statement, HMRC said that it “remains committed” to introducing the charge and in the intervening year it will focus additional resource on identifying and tackling existing perpetrators of VAT-related fraud in the industry. HMRC also committed to working closely with the sector to raise awareness and provide additional guidance to make sure all businesses will be ready for the new implementation date.

The tax authority recognised that some businesses will have already changed their invoices to meet the needs of the reverse charge and cannot easily change them back in time. Where genuine errors have occurred, HMRC has stated that it will take into account the late change in its implementation date.

“Some businesses may have opted for monthly VAT returns ahead of the 1 October 2019 implementation date, which they can reverse by using the appropriate stagger option on the HMRC website,” said the statement.

Customise Invoices Exported to Xero from WorkflowMax

July 8, 2019 in Accounting, App Stack

Consolidate your invoice into a single line or hide your zero line items.

As Xero’s WorkflowMax grows globally, we continue to advance our mission of helping our small business customers with enhancements and seamless experiences with our products. Thanks for all your feedback on our roadmap. As part of our ongoing enhancements, we’re excited to announce that another round of invoicing improvements are live from 18 June.

The problem: limited choice about how you export data to Xero

Historically, when you created an invoice in WorkflowMax, (and you were connected to your Xero account), you didn’t have any choice about what information was exported to your Xero account.

You would have one line for every task and cost, regardless of whether these lines had a zero value. There was no option to send just a single line as a total on an invoice.

To deal with this, customers created a few workarounds. Some customers would use just one task on a job in order to have the single line export to Xero. This method reduced the insights an account could gain into the work done on their job(s).

Other customers who included non-billable items on their jobs would have to either remove them from the custom invoice and invoice them separately, on an invoice which would never be sent to the customer, or include them on an invoice, then pop into Xero drafts and edit the invoice in Xero to remove the zero lines.

There was some double-handling and the process was not ideal.

Our solution: make it easier and quicker to invoice the way you want

From 18 June, you’ll be able to configure how your invoices are exported to Xero with some new export options.

Here’s how

Helpful tip: We suggest that you change your export settings to Xero to “export as draft” whilst you try out these new settings, so you can delete any drafts exported to Xero whilst you optimise your new settings.

From the Business -> Settings -> Xero menu, select “Connect to Xero”(if you’ve never connected to Xero before) and you’ll now see the following new options:

Details: Job or miscellaneous invoice total

Tasks and costs (current default functionality)

1.new option

1. Consolidated invoice export to Xero: Using the new “job or miscellaneous invoice total” you’ll be able to export just the invoice total as a single line to Xero.  You can define the invoice description in the job or miscellaneous invoice description boxes.

2. job invoice total

2.  Exporting of non-billable tasks and costs options

Selecting the default “Tasks and costs” option will now give you additional selections:

Task options

Show task description

Show tasks with zero value (NEW)

Cost options:

Show cost notes

Show costs with zero value (NEW)

tasks and costs

Task Options

  1. Show the task description functions as before, so if you had detail here it will still export in the same way
  2. Show tasks with zero value – by default this will be enabled to be consistent with the current functionality, but you’ll be able to untick this option to stop tasks with zero value from being exported to Xero

Cost options

  1. Show the cost notes functions as before, so if you had detail here it will still export in the same way
  2. Show costs with zero value – by default this will be enabled to be consistent with the current functionality, but you’ll be able to untick this option to stop cost with zero value from being exported to Xero

3. Upgrade of the text box selection function to using smart curly brackets

Previously you’d have to copy and paste the text placeholders which could lead to some errors.  Now you’ll be able to type a curly bracket { and a list of placeholder options will appear for you to select. You can still type the word as well to find it in the list.

curly bracket

Please note that there are some situations where the consolidated invoice export won’t work for you.

1/ Mapping at the task and cost level will no longer work if you:

a. map your tasks and costs line by line or
b. use Xero tracking for tasks and cost lines

And then change to use the consolidated invoice export. Instead it will use the mapping set at the job level (if you’re using job category mapping), or it will use the default mappings.

2/ If you have your timesheet notes set to be included on the task (Business -> settings -> General settings -> and “Invoice” section, then field “timesheet notes” set to “task description” or “task description – time detail”) then we don’t recommend that you use the consolidated invoice export setting at the job level without first changing this setting to something else. Otherwise, the resulting invoice will include the timesheets in the single field.