HMRC looking at Solar PV industry
by David Brophy - Business Services Manager on 15 May 2012
With the dust just about settling on the Solar PV industry following the Feed-in-Tariff debacle at the tail end of 2011, another potential issue is brewing for a large number of businesses in the sector. It has become evident that HMRC are starting to look closely at the sector and its businesses, sensing that there is ‘low hanging fruit’ given the relative infancy and spectacular financial successes within the industry.
In particular HMRC are looking closely at the way Solar PV businesses are organising and structuring their sales, marketing and installations, with a particular emphasis on the use of self-employed consultants and contractors. We are aware of a number on on-going tax enquiries and have been involved in helping clients who are subject to such at present or have recently undergone enquiries.
There are potentially significant PAYE, NIC and CIS issues and liabilities that are being stored up across the sector and there is certainly a feel that HMRC are becoming more aggressive in their approach to the sector.
We believe that the best way for businesses in the sector (and indeed any business who uses consultants and contractors) is to consider a pre-emptive PAYE/NIC/CIS health-check, which would highlight any potential HMRC issues and look to head these off at the pass, preventing hefty settlements down the line.
At Haines Watts we have carried out a number of these health-checks, where we effectively subject your internal arrangements, systems, controls and compliance to the same standard that an HMRC inspector would, and are able to advise on the best actions to reduce or eliminate your business’ exposure to a large liability in future.
We would be delighted to talk to anyone who may be affected in the sector and would carry out a free preliminary review of your circumstances to identify potential issues that we could then subsequently address through a full review. Even for those businesses confident they have no such issues brewing, our initial consultation would, at the very least, provide some peace of mind that there are no obvious problems lurking.
If you want further information, use our online form to get in touch.