In amongst the Britain’s Got Talent audition that the chancellor took part in yesterday were some announcements regarding the economy and some good news for contractors. We won’t repeat his numerous Christmas Cracker jokes but here’s the 5 key takeaways for contractors;
The latest Freelancer Confidence Index, measured by the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), has shown the poorest outlook on record in the second quarter of 2017.
Despite a continuation of high day rates for contractors, the survey showed that only 19% of freelancers were confident about how their business would perform over the next year. This was down a whopping 9% on Q1 2017.
A survey of British workers has revealed that almost three quarters (73 per cent) of self-employed people have no personal pension.
The survey revealed that self-employed Brits contribute less to their pensions each month, start saving for retirement later and are less likely to know what’s in their pension pot.
With questions raised about pension provision for contractors, the survey suggests that the pension industry is not meeting the needs of the self-employed community.
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.
A team of thirty personal service company (PSC) contractors have agreed to abandon an already overrunning NHS IT project, after the Guy’s & St Thomas (GSTT) hospital trust said that the contractors would be declared ‘inside IR35’ from April.
Former MP and small business owner Paul Uppal has been appointed as the first Small Business Commissioner, with a mandate to tackle the late payment crisis and put a stop to big business bullying.
The Commissioner role, which was first proposed in the summer of 2015, will give small businesses the support they need to thrive in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
Some self-employed contractors lost 30% of their income in the wake of IR35 reforms that took effect in the public sector this in April.
As the dust settles around the changes IT recruitment company, CW Jobs, found that more than 70% of their clients saw a reduction in income after the IR35 reforms.
Of these contractors, a quarter saw a reduction close to 30%.
The IR35 reforms mean that contractors who work solely or primarily for public sector bodies are being taxed as if they were regular employees of that company. But are no receiving any of the accompanying benefits such as such pay or holiday entitlement.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has released more information about the rules governing off-payroll contractors in the public sector.
HMRC updated its guidance on the rules, which have been in effect since April.
The updated guidance clarifies some sticking points that have confused contractors for months.
Since 6 April 2017, responsibility for determining IR35 status has passed from public sector contractors, operating through an intermediary, to the public sector body engaging the contractor.
Although the fundamental rules are the same, the April change is seismic in terms of how the rules are applied.
Changes are coming to Public Sector contracting in April 2017.
The key area which could affect your company in April will be the following;
From 1st April this year many Limited Company Contractors working on a contract for a Public Sector institution will be classed as “Inside IR35” which means that the income from that contract will be taxed as if it was employment income. This can drastically increase the tax burden on the company.
A professional contractor employment services body has been scathing in its criticism of the changes to the off-payroll public sector changes, due to take effect in less than two months.
The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), which represents more than 110,000 contractors in the flexible workforce sector, said that the changes raise problems associated with accountancy, points of law and practicality.