One of the advantages of contracting through umbrella companies is being spared the tedium of keeping abreast of tax affairs; for those who work through limited companies, however, HMRC is attempting to make the task easier with the launch of a new range of mobile apps.

The idea being promoted is this: instead of ploughing through oceans of receipts and invoices while burning the midnight oil after a gruelling day’s work, small businesses and self-employed freelancers can now stay on top of their record keeping while on the hoof. HMRC has been in consultation with the commercial software industry over the new mobile applications, which are designed for small businesses and freelancers below the VAT threshold.

HMRC seems confident that the apps, which contain links to its website offering guidance on record keeping, will turn out to be a big help. For those who are interested, they are free of charge. The companies behind the software are featured on the Revenue’s website and all have advised HMRC that their record-keeping mobile apps are fully compliant with its requirements and specifications.

The website says: “This list is not exhaustive and it is probable that other software houses associated with mobile application development will also be developing applications. The list will be updated as necessary on a regular basis.”

However, the Revenue is also at pains to point out that simply because a trader or trading organisation appears on one of its lists should not be taken to imply that HMRC is supporting, recommending or certifying the software.

Apps or no apps, many contractors prefer to say “Pah!” to paperwork by opting for the PAYE umbrella solution.

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