Government to ban slow paying contractors from public works

The Government has said that it will ban tier one contractors from bidding for work if they don’t pay their suppliers promptly.

As part of a broader package of measures designed to protect smaller businesses, the Government announced plans to exclude suppliers from major Government procurements if they cannot demonstrate “fair and effective” payment practices with their subcontractors.

Private sector IR35 consultation expected soon

Last week, the Government’s Spring Statement warned that a consultation on extending IR35 off-payroll working reforms to the private sector could be due soon.

Off-payroll working didn’t make it into the Chancellor’s speech, but buried in a supplementary document the government did make mention of the rule changes.

The document says that “in the coming months,” the Government will publish “a consultation on how to tackle non-compliance in the private sector, drawing on experience of the public-sector reform.”

 

Watch out for this HMRC call scam
Editor | 10 March 2018
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HMRC is warning people to be on high alert after numerous reports that cold calling scammers are pretending to be the tax authority.

HMRC says that it has seen a sharp increase in the number of recorded message scams hitting people across the UK.

The scammers appear to be calling people randomly with an automated message which says that you are under HMRC investigation after failing to pay a tax bill. 

 

MP Calls for Shared Parental Leave for Freelancers

Labour MP and Shadow Education Minister Tracy Brabin this week called on the Government to extend Shared Parental Leave to freelancers and self-employed workers.

Currently, only people in traditional employment can get access to the scheme, which allows a mother and father to share leave and gives parents the ability to split the leave into blocks .

Parliament agreed to the preparation of a bill that would extend this right to self-employed workers after it was revealed that take up of the flexible work and pay scheme could be as low as 2%.

Brabin told MPs that the world of work is changing as more and more people classify themselves as self-employed. 

HMRC: IR35 Reforms Could Hit Private Sector

Newly released HMRC forum discussion papers suggest that the IR35 reforms that have caused such a headache for contractors in the public sector could be introduced into the private sector as early as April 2019.

In a December meeting, HMRC acknowledged that public sector IR35 changes had fuelled some non-compliance but insisted that addressing ‘an immediate Exchequer risk’ was a main priority.

This indicates that the tax authority plans to speed up proposed changes and bring in more money by addressing IR35 non-compliance in the private sector.

Things to do before the end of the tax year
Editor | 29 March 2018
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For many contractors, a new personal tax year starts on April 6th. There are some important things that you can do now to minimise the amount of tax you owe and to make the process of paying taxes simpler.

 

How Much Will April Dividend Cut Cost You?

A cut in dividend allowance will cost some contractors more than £1,000 per year when it takes effect from April.

The allowance on dividends will be cut from £5,000 to £2,000 as the chancellor continues his raid on self-employed finances.

This means that individuals will not pay taxes on the first £2,000 of dividend income, regardless of what non-dividend income they have.

Construction: Calls to Action on Poor Payment
Editor | 7 March 2018
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In the wake of Carillion’s collapse, construction industry chiefs have called for action to tackle bad payment practices.

Mark Castle, chairman of Build UK, spoke to Construction News about the need for “consequences” for bad payers, calling for more transparency to expose the industry’s worst offenders.

“When you have companies that have poor payment practices there has to be consequences for those companies, particularly when it comes to winning work,” he said.

HMRC Wins IR35 Case against BBC Presenter
Editor | 19 February 2018
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HMRC won its first IR35 ruling in seven years, as former BBC presenter Christa Ackroyd lost an appeal covering tax years between 2006/07 and 2012/2013.

In Christa Ackroyd Media (CAM) Ltd vs. Revenue & Customs, HMRC successfully argued that the ‘Look North’ presenter owed more than £400,000 in income tax and National Insurance Contributions.

The win is significant for HMRC because it is the first in a string of IR35 appeals against BBC personalities. 

Start a contractor website on a shoestring
Editor | 5 February 2018
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Not all contractors need a website, but in certain industries it can strengthen your reputation and may help bring in new clients.

You have to be careful that costs don’t spiral out of control, however, and one way of doing that is to set yourself a shoestring budget to build your website on. Here are our top tips.  

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