Construction Equipment Leasing and Your Capital Expenditure Strategy

To the uninitiated, replacing heavy-duty machines is a simple matter of selling the old units and buying new ones. Experienced managers know better. They understand intuitively that this type of machinery is extremely expensive and represents an enormous outlay of limited resources. When operating a fleet of excavators, back hoe loaders, cement trucks, and similar vehicles, they must maintain constant vigilance over how they spend those resources.Every business that relies upon heavy machinery must carefully design a capital expenditure strategy that provides flexibility and prevents an overextension of credit. Construction equipment leasing should be a primary consideration when creating such a strategy.Below, we’ll explore the challenges that managers and business owners confront when they need to replace heavy-duty assets. We’ll also clarify the decision between construction equipment leasing agreements and purchasing such assets outright.Challenges Of Replacing Heavy-Duty AssetsBecause each vehicle or piece of machinery represents such a large outlay of capital, fleet mangers must approach the replacement of those assets carefully. Technological obsolescence, variances in market demand, and long-term business objectives must be considered along with budgetary constraints. Much depends upon the industry in which the assets are deployed.For example, vehicles that are deployed in quarries in order to fulfill long-term excavation or extraction projects have a usable lifespan that is easy to calculate. As long as they are maintained properly, the vehicles’ capacity and the amount of materials extracted from the quarry are the most important considerations. By contrast, projects that are focused upon building – or rebuilding – infrastructure are far more susceptible to market variables.An effective capital expenditure strategy should reflect the short and long-term needs of the business as dictated by market forces. Managers should consider their heavy equipment finance options given their budget limitations, forecast of operational needs, and whether their resources can be allocated to better use elsewhere.Benefits Of Construction Equipment LeasingAs you might suspect, a construction equipment leasing arrangement frees up valuable capital and offers decision-making flexibility. Such an agreement provides immediate access to new vehicles and machinery with a minimal upfront investment. This is a significant advantage. New businesses are often starved of operational cash flow; a lease agreement helps them conserve their resources. Even longstanding companies can leverage a lease by directing their resources toward areas that promise more liquidity or a higher rate of return.There are also potential tax benefits depending upon the circumstances of the lease. In some cases, the payments may be 100% tax deductible (you should consult a tax advisor for advice). A lease also provides a level of protection against obsolescence, though your business’s exposure to this factor will vary based upon your industry.Sources For Construction Equipment Leasing AgreementsOnce you have decided that a construction equipment leasing agreement is consistent with your company’s capital expenditure strategy, you can work with a broker, independent leasing company, or a “captive” lessor. A broker works directly with a number of financial institutions and will present a tentative agreement to them on your behalf. An independent leasing company can often provide better terms as they will work directly with you. A “captive” lessor typically operates as a subsidiary of a construction equipment manufacturer.Building Your Business CarefullyWhen business is good, cash flow seems plentiful. But, managers know that their companies are vulnerable to economic trends and changes in market demand. Quick decisions and the reallocation of finite resources are often required to meet the challenges. If too much capital is tied up in heavy-duty assets, managers lose the benefit of liquidity. A construction equipment leasing arrangement can provide valuable flexibility, giving them the room to maneuver within the competitive environment of their market. Such an arrangement can prove essential to growing your own business while keeping your options open in the event new opportunities emerge.

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Construction Industry in Albania and Tax Administration

General overview of construction industry in AlbaniaConstruction is one of the most dynamic sectors of the Albanian economy, with a real growth of 14% for the recently period of 2008. Construction activity is concentrated in the major urban centers. State participation in the construction sector is mainly focused on infrastructure and engineering constructions. State financing for engineering constructions constitute 85 % of total state financed construction.Private sector construction is mainly focused on flats and buildings for families, which comprise about 82% of the total financing of private construction. The more people in the economy, the greater the demand for housing. it is households that demand housing services: typically one household per house. The size and demographic composition of households is variable and not entirely exogenous.
Construction Industry – Accounting and Tax LegislationInvoices between the owner/builder and the subcontractors should be standard GDT invoices and are required to be raised on a monthly basis. All other suppliers’ invoices will be obtained as and when supplies are made, e.g. when cement and steel rods are delivered. Other accounting records such as the sales and purchase ledgers will be present together with a stock inventory. The records will follow the normal pattern of accounting, however, the accounts may relate to one particular construction. In the event a building contractor is involved in the more than one construction it will be necessary for the accounts to reflect the costs for each site separately so as to be able to determine the final cost in total. There is likely to be a building account, where all the costs relating to that particular construction are itemized.Taxation of construction and repair works includes:1. VAT
2. Profit tax and Personal Income Tax
3. Withholding tax
4. Dividend taxation
5. Local taxes and;
6. Employment taxesOne of the amendments to the Albanian Value Added Tax Act, includes the supply of buildings, except in the process of construction, is an exempted supply and also the renting of buildings is an exempted supply, except in cases of a) renting for a period of not more than two months; b) accommodation in hotels or resort buildings.Since 2005 various interpretations were given by GTD to clarify misunderstandings with respect to land and buildings. To understand the implications of VAT and buildings, certain key definitions should be explained.Land and buildingThe person desirous of having a building constructed is the person “erecting” such building. Leasing a land or a site is an exempted supply, except the cases when the land is used for parking of transport vehicles and other means of transport. The parking of means of transport and other movable vehicles is VAT taxable. Services supply in construction, thus the process of construction and maintenance of buildings, are taxable supplies. The renting of buildings, unless they are public property, by the central or local government authorities, is taxable. Leasing of public buildings by central or local government bodies shall be considered an exempted supply for VAT purposes. The definition of the “ground”, according to this law, implies an area unprocessed, unattended, undeveloped, not containing any erections, except for simple divisive walls or fences that determine the borders of such area. Building implies a fixed construction on the ground, or part of that structure (such as a room or an apartment), which includes the ground on which it stands as well as the surroundings included in the sale, but does not comprise roulots or trailers.Specialties of VAT treatmentOn the basis of VAT Albanian law minimum taxable on buildings for dwelling purposes on the process of construction is based minimum fiscal price and the construction surface.Minimum orientating prices for fiscal purposes on the process of construction of buildings for dwelling purposes are defined by Decision of Council of Ministers after consultation with Builders Association of Albania.Each month the constructor is required to present a ‘work in progress’ report that is required to be checked by the auditor. A technical construction engineer belonging to the GTD estimates the amount of work that has taken place in the month and the auditor then reconciles the estimate with the stock movement of the goods. Additionally, account is taken of all other expenses, i.e. cost of the land, wages, and social insurance payments, electricity etc. Once the engineer has completed his work the auditor checks the movement of the stock to ensure the figures reconcile with the amount of work estimated to have been completed.To the total estimate cost of the month’s work a mark-up of between 6 – 10% is added and VAT is paid on the total. VAT from purchases is allowed to be deducted in the normal way.On conclusion of the whole construction reconciliation is conducted between the VAT paid monthly and the VAT due on the final sale. The difference is said to be minimal!The seller is not required to charge VAT on the eventual sale of the apartments, assuming it to be an apartment block.
If the work is paid in advance, then the taxable person receiving the advanced payment is obliged to issue an invoice and register this invoice in the register of sales belonging to the taxable period in which that advanced payment was made.Profit tax and personal income taxIn construction and repair projects extending over one calendar year, the final determination of the profit and losses shall be made every year and not in which the project ends. The income calculated in the year in which the temporary acceptance is made is taxed under the legislation of the same year. The profit tax rate is 10%. Enterprises must file profit tax returns until March 31st of the following year and pay the tax promptly until the end of the month in which filing is made.Sale of immovable property, land and building shall be taxed at 10% of the realized capital gains. Such condition is not applicable in the cases when there is an exchange of the right on the ownership of the land with the right of the ownership of the building constructed on that land.Withholding tax (taxation of project-in-progress)According to the Income Tax Law, both work advances and progress invoice amounts paid to those performing the work, i.e. contractors or subcontractors, are subject to withholding tax at a rate of 10%.Dividend taxationIn construction projects, final determination of the profit and losses shall be made every year; profit from the project is distributed afterwards.Under the current regulations in Albania, dividend withholding tax rate is 10% if dividend is distributed to non-residents and resident individuals. Dividend distributions to resident corporations are exempt from withholding tax. However, the bilateral tax treaties, which may determine lower tax rates, should also be considered.Tax treatment of construction and repair works performed outside AlbaniaProfits from construction and repair work and technical services performed outside Albania, which are added to the income generated in Albania, are exempt from corporate tax regardless of whether such profits are transferred to Albania or not.On the other hand, should these kinds of profits be distributed to the shareholders, they are taxed as dividends.Special Tax Audits in case of merging, fusion or splitting of construction companiesMerging includes more than all fixed assets and liabilities of the company merging company with the company that takes over. The rights and obligations of the merging company pass to the company that takes it over. The decisions to audit a merging company are issued in the name and registration number of the company that takes it over. The authority to represent the merged company has already been transferred through merging to the company that takes over. The decision to audit a company that has been transferred through merging covers only the time to the moment of merging. If the audit needs to cover the time after the merging, then it is necessary to request another audit order for the company that has taken over the former company. If the merging occurs while the audit is in process, the parties automatically change, in other words, the entire communication is made with the company that is taking over.The merged company is subject to taxes until the moment the merge is executed. The company that takes over is considered to have been exercising the business of the merged company since the beginning of the last fiscal year of the merged company; If the audit focuses on the review of operation dating before or after the merging day, then it is necessary to prepare to audit memos, one for each company. Through merging, one or more companies can transfer their heritage to an existing company or a new company established by them, or to a temporarily created “partnership”. Through splitting, a company can also transfer its heritage to some existing companies or some new companies.
Such opportunities are open to companies in the process of liquidation, provided that the distribution of their assets among the partners has not been subject to execution. The partners of the companies transferring their heritage in the framework of the above-mentioned operations, benefit shares of the initial capital or stock from the benefiting company or companies. Sometimes they can benefit compensation in cash, the value of which cannot exceed 10% of the nominal value of the initial capital shares or stock.If the operation includes the creation of new companies, each of them should be established according the rules that apply for the form of the company being created. Merging or splitting causes the disintegration without liquidation of the disintegrated companies and their heritage is completely transferred to the benefiting companies, in the condition it is at the moment the operation is finalized.However, no action is taken to exchange the initial capital shares or stock of the benefiting company/companies with the initial capital shares or stock of the merged or split company/companies if such shares are owned by:- The benefiting company or a person acting on its behalf or to the benefit of this company.
– The merged or split company or a person acting on its behalf or to the benefit of this company.Merging or splitting enters in force:- When one or some new companies are created: on the date when the last of the newly created companies is registered in the commercial register.
– In other cases: on the date of the last meeting of the assembly approving the operation, except cases when the contract foresees that the operation will enter in force on another date, which should be no later than the closing date of the ongoing financial year of the benefiting company/companies, and no sooner than the closing date of the closed financial year of the company/companies that are transferring their heritage.The partners of a company can agree to re-split the company, instead of liquidating it. It often happens that there is a real split. We can talk of a real split when the partners of a company take over parts of the company’s activity and run them as separate companies.What next?…influencing compliance behaviour with tax professionals…Being able to deal with taxpayers through their agents substantially reduces the cost of tax administration. Think of what life would be like for a tax administration if there were no tax professionals. Some people who work for tax administrations might say that life would be much easier without them. Yes, there might not be so much tax planning, or challenges to taxation, and taxpayers might be more willing to accept tax administration’s view. This might make life easier for the tax officials. But given the complexity of tax system for anyone that it’s no part of tax administration, despite all the efforts at simplification, think of what the disadvantages might be?Instead of funnelling the interaction with businesses and corporations through tax professionals, it would be necessary to interact directly with an additional two-three thousands subcontractors and supply businesses and over one hundred VIP construction taxpayers. This would have huge cost implications for tax administration, as more employees would be needed to service the substantial additional contacts and queries that would ensue.It would also be immeasurably harder for tax administration to ensure that all taxpayers understood their obligations and this would adversely affect voluntary compliance.For these reasons, tax structures recently are trying to make it as easy as possible for tax professionals to meet their client’s compliance obligations and we provide a variety of support services and measures to support and achieving client’s compliance.

Construction Litigation Help

Construction industry is wide service sector that requires different contractors to serve in different capacities this may include; electricians, plumbers, floor guys, cabinet guys, and handymen. To be able to choose the best contractor for your project it’s recommended you ask for help from a construction litigation attorney. A good attorney will help you choose a contractor who they believe can deliver and have vast track record in finishing his duties as required by the law.It’s imperatively very wrong for a professional construction litigation attorney to refer or accord his friends favor by praising his worthiness yet he has been involved with dubious activities. It professional to refer your clients to contractor; with visible track record in doing business in this industry.Other than that, there are several factors that any construction litigation attorney should consider before referring any contractor to their clients, that is; attorney should always scrutinize any contractor to know for how long he has been in this industry, that is; his achievements in field, his relationship with the business community around him, since its very hard for him to do shoddy jobs within the area of residence and the most important how long has he been in the construction industry. Sometimes it’s also very important to check the type of license and accolades he has, this will enable you to give correct and meaningful advice to clients.There are many licenses that contractors are required by the law to have one of them is commercial general liability insurance, its very important to have this insurance cover to posses, it ensures personal injuries and property damage at the place of work is catered for no matter the magnitude of the injury or damage. You should always think of workers and other properties around your project to avoid construction litigation processes which might increase you construction budget tremendously; the law requires every contractor comply with the minimum state and contractor’s licensing law requirements. Over the year several contractors have overlooked or failed unknowingly failed to leave out the important consumer protection provisions like mechanic’s lien notices, insurance clauses, three-day right to cancel requirements, and similar provisions. It’s therefore recommended that before you refer a contractor, let them submit to you a sample contract agreement such that your client has an opportunity to review it with counsel should they so choose that particular contractor.The financial base of any contractor is the pivot to being given the contract, it’s therefore important for a contractor to submit his business financial account details i.e. balance sheet or a trial balance, if you overlook this issue you may end up being sued or your project being halted. With a qualified construction litigation attorney you can be able to choose and verify all business practices of any contractor.