FreeAgent’s highlights from the Accountex show
Editor | 24 May 2017
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Rise of the robots

FreeAgent’s CEO Ed Molyneux took to the stage to deliver his keynote speech ‘Rise of the Robots: Accountancy at the Crossroads’, which examined the future of the profession in an ever-changing technological environment.  

FreeAgent and NatWest have joined forces

FreeAgent were delighted to be joined by their new partners, NatWest at the conference.

CCO, Kevin McCallum, and Head of Business Banking at NatWest, Haydn Thomas, co-hosted a seminar on the new open banking legislation and what this means for the accountancy profession. They also took some time after the event to chat to AccountingWEB about financial technology for accountants - watch the video on FreeAgent’s website.

Hermes newest target in employment status debate

Courier company Hermes is the latest target in a long-running debate around employment status that has previously engulfed Uber and Deliveroo.

HMRC has reportedly stepped up its investigation into Hermes, which classifies it couriers as self-employed even though their working patterns don’t reflect this.

Separately, the GMB trade union has brought an employment rights lawsuit against the company vowing to fight against ‘bogus self-employment’ and the ‘gig economy’. 

Government rushes through stripped down tax bill before election

In a bid to rush their latest Finance Bill through the House of Commons before the snap general election this June, the government stripped out some key parts of its tax agenda, including the Making Tax Digital scheme.

The revised Finance Bill, which was passed through the Commons on Wednesday, was 80% shorter than the original document, but one thing that wasn’t cut from the revised bill was the controversial IR35 reforms for public sector contractors. 

Important changes in the new tax year

The new tax year is here and it has brought with it the usual soup of tax and regulatory changes. This year there are a number of important changes that will affect contractors, including new IR35 rules, changes to the flat rate VAT scheme and new income tax rates.

Some of the changes will be received positively – others, less so. Here we summarise the most important April changes for contractors. 

18 perks employees get that freelancers have to pay for
Editor | 24 March 2017
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Freelancers and self-employed people will be well accustomed to criticism from employed friends and colleagues.

Umbrella Accountants will be attending at Accountex 2017!

Accountex combines a world-class conference and exhibition dedicated to Accountancy Professionals. Umbrella Accountants are despatching Ricky Patidar to catch up on all the latest technology at the exhibition at the Excel Centre in London

Exhibiting at the show will be Cloud Accounting specialists such as FreeAgent, Sage, Receipt Bank, Expensify and Xero. We’re always looking to discover how cutting edge cloud-based platforms can make a difference to our clients – the more automation available and the more accurate the information the more time our contractors can spend away from their accounts. 

Have you tried the FreeAgent Mobile App?
Editor | 28 April 2017
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If you’ve tried it before and not got on with it or never installed it then now is a great time to pick it up for your smartphone and see the powerful list of features that you can control from a simple touchscreen.

With banking, tax notifications, time tracking and a slick new interface all added over the last two years since it’s launch the mobile app really does cram a lot of functionality into the App.

HMRC harpoons new ‘loyalty points’ umbrella scheme as a disguised renumeration tax avoidance scheme

HM Revenue and Customs has warned taxpayers that it is aware of a new ‘tax avoidance’ umbrella scheme in which contractors are paid, in part, with loyalty points that can be redeemed for ‘tax free’ income.

The tax authority has said that they consider the umbrella scheme to be against the rules of disguised remuneration and that users of the scheme will have their tax affairs investigated. 

Editor | 3 April 2017
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There will be a number of things changing this April, some of which will affect them negatively.

We assess the changes and suggest some tax-efficient ways for contractors to respond.

Self-employed welcome Chancellor’s ‘screeching’ U-turn

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been forced to make a ‘screeching’ U-turn on National Insurance contributions (NICs) for the self-employed.

In his budget statement last week, the Chancellor said that he wanted to increase Class 4 NICs, which are only paid by self-employed workers, by two pence in the pound in 2019. 

Following heavy criticism from Tory backbenchers, the media and the self-employed community, the Chancellor has dropped this policy.

The SNP leader in Westminster Angus Robertson called it a “screeching” U-turn while Labour said the move was “humiliating”. 

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