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Project bank accounts: Scotland makes the switch [THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT has announced that, from 31 October,

public sector building and civil engineering projects over a certain value must include project bank accounts for the payment of sub-contractors as a tender requirement. Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) are ring-fenced accounts from which payments can be made directly and simultaneously by a client to contractors and sub-contractors, improving cash flow through the supply chain. Typically, recipients are paid within five days. Legal trust status protects the funds should a main contractor fall into administration. The announcement in September, by Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution Derek Mackay MSP, follows a two-year trial programme. The trial began with payments on two work packages worth £1.4m at Monklands Hospital and also included Transport Scotland’s Inveramsay Bridge project and Scottish Borders Council’s Galashiels Transport Hub project. PBAs must be included in tender documents for contracts with an estimated award value of at least £4,104,394 for building projects and £10,000,000 for civil engineering projects. Secretary Mackay said: “This is an important milestone in the government’s commitment to improving cashflow for smaller firms. The PBA guidance translates trial programme experience into a simplified common approach

with practical resources for implementation in Scottish Government projects. We urge all other organisations involved in commissioning work on Scotland’s infrastructure to use PBAs.” Among the bodies who welcomed the move was the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), which was heavily involved in the campaign to have PBAs introduced. The BESA congratulated Mr Mackay and called for the rest of the UK to follow suit by implementing a policy that could improve financial conditions for the whole construction sector. Its chief executive Paul McLaughlin said: “Unfair and abusive payment practices have been a blight on the construction process for decades, the Scottish Government should be roundly praised for taking a bold step to remove one of the barriers to efficient project delivery. “Security of payment allows firms to invest in the skills and processes they need to improve productivity and fund growth. By improving cash flow through the supply chain, project clients can also be assured of a more cohesive, harmonious and, therefore, efficient project process.” From as early as 2009 PBAs have been recognised as the preferred payment method for public procurement by both UK Government and the devolved governments. The move by the Scottish Government in September is another step forward in making them the norm. q

The dreaded Self Assessment tax deadline approaches [YES IT’S THAT time of the year when we are on the countdown to Self Assessment tax return filing for 2015/16 – 31 October for those submitting on paper or 31 January for online returns. So, to avoid being one of the 385,000 people who filed on the last day or the 2,044 filing on Christmas Day last year, Charlotte Wright of Foremans LLP provides the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Do I need to file an income tax Self Assessment? You must file income tax returns if you are self employed, a company director, a partner in a business partnership or in receipt of more than one source of income.

Why would I need to file a Self Assessment? You may have received income which has not been taxed at source on which you should pay tax. Alternatively you may have had too much tax deducted from income received, including under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

How can I reclaim any CIS deducted? You can reclaim any CIS deducted from you personally by completing your Self Assessment. You will need to record the full amounts of your invoices as income along with any deductions contractors have made in the ‘CIS Deductions’ box. If you are unsure how to complete and file your Self Assesment it’s worth appointing a qualified accountant to assist you, as errors can be costly.

Will I get a refund of all of the CIS deducted? Your tax and NI due for the tax year will be calculated and any CIS already paid deducted from the tax due. You may have to pay HMRC some tax and


NI if your CIS deductions are less than the total due. If your CIS is greater you should receive a refund. At Foremans LLP we help hundreds of contractors each year make sure that they’ve paid the right tax for their circumstances. If you have any questions, we offer free initial advice.

I have been asked to make a Payment on Account for my Self Assessment income tax. What is this? A payment on account is an amount of tax you will be asked to pay in advance of your next income tax calculation. Payments on account for 2015/16 are due on 31 January 2017 and 31 July 2017. These amounts will then be deducted from your income tax due when it is calculated.

Can I get a repayment if I have paid too much? Yes. At the time of submission of your data for the tax year HMRC will complete a calculation and deduct any payments on account made. Any overpayment should be refunded to you. So, to avoid being forced to use one of the exceptional excuses heard by HMRC last year including ‘My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them’ and, my personal favourite, ‘I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for five years’ start planning your tax return now. q • For further information contact Foremans on 01244 625 500, email or visit

1CHK 2016 mag p1 108 online  

Construction London Build 2016 Scotland Build 2016 Zoos Land of the Lions London Zoo Brexit Working at Height NASC CISRS PASMA CPD MEWPs Roo...

1CHK 2016 mag p1 108 online  

Construction London Build 2016 Scotland Build 2016 Zoos Land of the Lions London Zoo Brexit Working at Height NASC CISRS PASMA CPD MEWPs Roo...