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    Crystal News

    Contractors asked to submit their views on SDC tax relief proposals

    July 31st, 2015

    HMRC has claimed that the impact of potential new regulations to block tax relief for supervised, directed or controlled (SDC) workers is likely to be minimal for contractors after receiving a poor response from flexible workers about the proposals. The tax authority said that just three contractors had replied to the long-awaited consultation document published last week. Trade body All Umbrella Companies Are Equal (AUCAE) believes HMRC is wrong to think that SDC won’t have an impact on self-employed workers. It is now urging contractors to fill in a form about SDC and how it could personally affect them so that HMRC can get a clearer picture of the implications […]

    New contractors at risk of being caught by new HMRC tax clampdown

    July 29th, 2015

    New contractors are at an increased risk of being caught by HMRC if they are unsure about the procedures involved with declaring income due to the tax authority’s renewed clampdown on the ‘hidden economy’. HMRC has warned that it will now make it “increasingly difficult” for traders who “fail to register for tax and people who fail to declare a source of income”. Newcomers to flexible working are being urged to get their finances in order as soon as possible. Tim Stovold of accountancy firm Kingston Smith said: “Where HMRC uncovers trading profits which have not been declared, they will be unsympathetic to a plead of ignorance of the rules.” […]

    Flexible workers urged to claim tax relief on office expenses

    July 27th, 2015

    Flexible workers are spending up to £2,000 a year on dedicated home office costs, according to a new report by global workplace organisation Regus. The study shows that maintaining an office base at home is costing flexible workers more than they think, with average expenses for furnishings and running costs totalling around £45 a week or £2,000 a year. Regus surveyed 4,000 self-employed workers as part of the new study. Freelance UK has urged contractors and freelancers to take advantage of legislation that allows them to claim a proportion of these expenses when using their home as an office, as HMRC’s suggested £4 a week allowance for recouping running costs […]

    OTS proposes single NIC and income tax payment

    July 24th, 2015

    Flexible workers could be disproportionately affected by new plans by the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) to introduce a single payment system for income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs). The OTS has put forward the new plans in an attempt to make the system easier for workers to understand after the financial secretary to the Treasury, David Gauge, described the two systems as a “major source of complexity for taxpayers”. The introduction of a single payment could be bad news for contractors and self-employed workers, however, as they generally pay a lower rate of NICs compared to their permanently-employed counterparts. It would also be particularly impactful on high-earners. Chas […]

    IPSE urges government to increase support for flexible workforce

    July 22nd, 2015

    IPSE has urged government ministers to re-evaluate recent budget proposals that could be detrimental to the flexible workforce, stating that the self-employment sector is “absolutely crucial to the economic success of the UK”. Recent data published by the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of contractors and freelancers has fallen by 131,000 to 4.47 million during the last 12 months, with experts calling for the government to do more to support and attract talented self-employed workers. Last week’s budget announcement could force contractors to pay higher taxes compared to recent years, which may deter experienced specialists from embracing flexible work at a time when skills shortage are being […]

    Reporting obligations for agencies from 5th August – Are You Ready?

    July 21st, 2015

    Reporting obligations for agencies under the Finance Bill 2014 The Finance Bill of 2014 imposed a raft of new reporting obligations on agencies engaging any workers who are paid outside the conventional PAYE model. Agencies must now submit quarterly returns to HMRC on all such workers. These include: A: Self-employed individuals. B: Individuals engaged through a partnership. C: Individuals engaged through a limited liability partnership. D: Individuals engaged through a personal service company or limited company. E: Any non-UK individuals. F: Individuals engaged through another party operating an HMRC-compliant PAYE model. The Umbrella option  Of special interest to agencies wishing to reduce the new administrative burdens to a minimum is […]

    What recruiters need to know about UK agency and temporary workers legislation

    July 21st, 2015

    HMRC’s new legislation on temporary workers went live on 6th April 2014, bringing with it significant implications for recruitment agencies and the employment supply chain more generally. From that date, payment for all temporary workers, including those who were previously classified as self-employed sub-contractors, must be payrolled if the workers concerned personally carry out work or are involved in the provision of services and there is supervision, direction and control. That means they must have employee NICs (at 12 and 2 per cent) and tax deducted at source. The employment agency also became liable for employer NICs (at 13.8 per cent) as of 6th April. Effectively, any tax liability that […]

    HMRC IR35 discussion document

    July 20th, 2015

    HMRC has released an Intermediaries Legislation discussion document outlining a framework for discussions with businesses on how to improve the effectiveness of IR35. The document covers a rationale for change, options to improve rules and the steps required for reform. The document reveals agreement that legislation introduced back in 2000 “to tackle the avoidance of employment taxes by those who work through intermediaries” is not working effectively, as two workers in similar circumstances could be paying vastly differently levels of tax. Non-compliance is also “significant” under the currently rules and only a “small number” of those working through intermediaries ‒ usually their own company, which is considered a personal service […]

    IPSE to offer training discounts for flexible workers

    July 17th, 2015

    The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) will offer discounts on training courses for contractors to help flexible workers to acquire new skills and take advantage of increasing vacancies in the job market. Research shows that contractors engage in less training than those in permanent employment due to the costs involved and time constraints; however, IPSE is hoping to make it easier for the flexible workforce to get ahead by providing discounts on a range of industry-specific courses. This is particularly important as the number of self-employed workers rises, as contractors and freelancers will need additional skills to prosper in an increasingly competitive market. It will also […]

    Demand for digital and tech contractors increases in London

    July 15th, 2015

    Demand for digital and tech contractors is growing in London after overall job vacancies surged by 6% in the capital last month, the latest Recruitment Index by specialist contract recruiter Venn Group shows. More businesses are beginning to invest in ‘future proofing’ their tools and systems to boost productivity and efficiency, which has resulted in many sourcing more flexible workers to complete tech roles in the private sector. Professionals are also being paid more as the economy grows at a faster pace than previously projected. IT service managers are now commanding more than £600 a day, while developers with PHP programming skills are taking home up to £350 a day […]