The property and construction industry is central to the UK economy

Encompassing a wide range of areas, including civil engineering, house and commercial property construction, property investment and a host of support services, the property and construction industry is one that faces a variety of challenges.

The volatile nature of the sector is compounded by economic uncertainty, labour shortages, and concerns around sustainability, each of which can make long-term planning difficult.

How we can help

Our team at PKF Smith Cooper has a wide range of experience working with businesses in this sector. We can advise on accounting and auditing matters – which can be complex and judgemental – as well as the wide range of related taxes, including VAT, employment taxes and capital taxes arising on disposal of trading and investment assets.

Some of the services we can help with

Accounts and audit

Accounting for construction and development projects is a complex area, due to the long-term and sometimes uncertain nature of projects.

We can help you in the following areas:

  • Accounting for long term projects, in particular the timing of recognition of revenues, retentions and profits on projects where the outcome may be uncertain
  • Accounting for joint venture development projects, where a return on investment may be many years away
  • Advice on accounting systems, including the integration of your internal contract progress valuations with financial reporting
  • Accounting for investment assets, including those acquired as investments and those transferred from trading stock


Property and construction contracts can be complex and require careful planning.

We can help you in the following areas:

  • Project forecasting, including cash flows and tax charges
  • Introduction to funders, including banks
  • Due diligence reviews of your commercial and joint venture partners

Specialist tax services

Property and construction activities encompass a wide range of taxes, with many complex areas requiring careful attention.

Our expertise includes:

  • VAT on land and property transactions, where errors may have significant implications due to the large sums often involved in single transactions
  • Employment taxes, particularly in relation to the employment status of sub-contractors
  • Tax matters relating to joint venture development projects, including tax charges on completion and exit
  • VAT advice relating to trading transactions where services are not all standard rated, including, for example, house building
  • Tax status of companies holding mixed portfolios of trading and investment assets, including implications for inheritance and capital gain taxes
  • Implementation of impending VAT reverse charge legislation, including timing, internal accounting and minimisation of impact on cash flow

Our team has many years of experience in this interesting and often complex sector. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Key experts

James Bagley

Managing Partner


Catherine Desmond

Private Client Partner


Dean Nelson

Business Recovery and Insolvency Partner


Gary Devonshire

Tax Advisory Partner


Michael Roome

Business Recovery and Insolvency Partner


Stephen Newman

Audit and Accounts Partner


Laura Parr

Head of Employment Tax


Andrew Stevens

Business Recovery and Insolvency Director


Lucy Robinson

Audit Director


Charlotte Morgan

Senior Manager - Corporate Tax


Natalie Pollard

Senior Manager - Tax


Beth Lymbery

Audit Assistant Manager


Thomas Webb

Assistant Manager Consultant - Capital Allowances