Construction Software providers are (or at
least should be) embedding updates and changes to keep pace with the changing
legislation and conditions of the markets in which their customers operate.
These enhancements are reliant on specialist knowledge of individuals and
groups (a commodity which itself becomes more scarce as the complexity of
change increases). Value-added
tax (VAT), is a prime example of one such
change that was introduced to the GCC market 1st January 2018, a
form of indirect tax that raises multiple challenges to all industries,
Your Construction Software should play a
pivotal role in supporting business processes into which the new tax procedures
need to have been incorporated. This article highlights issues that
construction businesses will face in adapting VAT in their Construction
Software. We should begin by considering the nature and level of complexity
presented by VAT and Construction Software and the challenges these aspects
present construction businesses.
The complex nature of business operations and
Construction Software packages together give rise to a need for changes,
upgrades and enhancements: changes in
rules or in the market environment in which your customer operate must be
catered for within your construction software platform.
It is common these days to make an assumption
during selection and implementation, that VAT, as a generic requirement, is
automatically addressed by the software itself.
In reality, that is seldom the case and the
handling of VAT within Construction Software platforms can give rise to
significant exposure to risk by a lack of attention to detail in that
Consider the following criteria
as highlighted by a KPMG study:
Materials and products shipped directly from
a company to its client lead to one of the most complex VAT situations because
there is only one supply while there are multiple transactions that attract a
VAT liability. These scenarios typically occur at companies’ reselling
units. Different elements within the
transaction determine the correct VAT treatment. For example, the applied Incoterms
(rules for Sea and Inland Waterway. The ICC has specific Incoterms rules for
inland waterway and sea transport such as free on board and cost, insurance and
freight.) will determine whether a transaction is considered as an
intracommunity transaction or a domestic sale.
- Having branches in more
than one country requires a more complex structure and design within the
Construction Software system and the model must apply fiscal rules and
requirements to invoicing. Within
VAT regulation, the actual flow of goods will be the determining factor for the
application of VAT. Where companies operate different types of operational hubs
(warehouses, storage or reseller units for example), the origin (or place from
which the goods are sent) will determine the application of VAT.
VAT for service activities is vastly different to that for the supply of goods.
Place-of-supply rules for services depend on the nature of the service
delivery, which is generally not taken into account within VAT determination.
In order to automate the VAT derivation for services, additional VAT derivation
functionality within the Construction Software system is required.
and raw materials can have a different VAT rating in different locations. This
gives rise to the absolute requirement to maintain accurate ’master data’ to
ensure the correct rating is accounted for and applied.
If activities are limited to the domestic
market, the treatment of VAT on transactions can be automated relatively
easily. Large international companies on the other hand will be faced with the
significant criteria discussed above. Ensuring your construction software has
the capability to handle such complex international, and multi-functional
complexities is of paramount importance.
Mitigating the risk and possible financial penalties that are now in
place for transgressing VAT legislation in the GCC is a factor all businesses
of all sizes needs to address. Standard functionality within Construction
Software systems does not guarantee the correct handling of more complex VAT
requirements so you absolutely must raise these questions with your software
the GCC is throwing up many questions and challenges as the systems and
processes adapt and adjust. That being said, VAT across the globe has
been a day to day reality for decades.
(Estimating and Project Control software) and BuildSmart (Cost and Enterprise
Management software), create a one-of-a-kind, market-leading integrated project
lifecycle control solution and were developed within this environment and are
fully capable of integrating VAT as well as any other taxation changes that may
crop up in the future. CCS’s Candy and BuildSmart were designed and
tested in the world markets where these requirements already exist, hence not a
new challenge, rather an application of the many, many lessons learned over the
years through practical experience.