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April chaos alert on tax software

THE CONSTRUCTION industry's Joint Taxation Committee has warned of looming chaos following HM Revenue & Custom's decision to press ahead with the launch of the new electronic Construction Industry Scheme next April.

The move comes despite appeals to ministers and the Revenue to delay the launch until the completion of trials to prove the effectiveness of the new software.

Liz Bridge, the Construction Confederation's tax director, said: 'This will create chaos for our industry - as well as significantly increase the costs of the change for contractors as they try to wade through the treacle.

'It is essential that all the software and paperwork necessary to run the new scheme is in place well before any start date.This clearly is not going to happen and the consequences, including the possibility of a computerised disaster in the payment process for construction, are too awful to contemplate.'

The JTC had wanted the extra time for employers to gain experience of the Revenue's online toolkit for testing the employment status of staff, as well as its website for verifying workers' identification.