The deadline for the Inland Revenue's new construction-industry scheme passes tomorrow with the sector thought to have verified only a small proportion of relevant documents. The scheme, which has operated in various forms since 1972, will affect contractors and subcontractors working on construction projects such as the Millennium Wheel and its viewing capsules (above). Where the scheme applies, payments for the labour costs of construction operations must be paid net of a 23% deduction, unless the recipient holds a valid subcontractor's tax certificate or construction tax certificate. The deductible amount must be handed to the Revenue by the contractor. Vouchers must also be completed and submitted to the taxman to show scheme payments made. The Revenue has already held high-profile campaigns to register users and plans to levy a fixed £3,000 fine for those who pay without having seen documentation. From 1 August, when the scheme came into force, no payments could be made by a contractor to a subcontractor for 'construction work' unless the subcontractor had a definite status under the legislation.
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