Finance Bill Confirms Private Sector IR35 Details
Editor | 15 July 2019
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The Treasury has published the Finance Bill 2019-20 , which confirms a number of important details about the upcoming IR35 reforms in the private sector.

 

Ignoring some of the recent calls for the reforms to be delayed, the bill confirms that off-payroll rules will be extended to the private sector from 6 April 2020.

 

In line with the changes in the public sector, private sector clients will be responsible for assessing a contractor’s IR35 status. Previously, this responsibility lay with the contractor.

 

HMRC Pressed For IR35 CEST Tool Release Date
Editor | 3 July 2019
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HMRC is under pressure to say when the new improved IR35 ‘Check Employment Status for Tax’ (CEST) tool will be released, as stakeholders point out flaws with the current version.

 

The tax authority has confirmed that its CEST tool will undergo enhancements before IR35 reforms are extended to the private sector from April 2020.

 

But so far, little is known about what updates will be applied and when the new tool will be available.

 

Private Sector IR35 Consultation Responses Criticise Proposals

Respondents to HMRC’s consultation on proposed changes to IR35 rules in the private sector have highlighted a number of concerns about the plans.

Analysing consultation responses from a broad range of interest groups, ContractorCalculator found a number of recurring themes in the criticism. See article: https://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/ir35_summary_responses_off_payroll_private_sector_551010_news.aspx

HMRC launched a consultation into off-payroll working rules in the private sector earlier this year. The planned reforms would affect limited company contractors working in the private sector from April 2020. 

One-in-Five Sole Traders Needlessly Preparing for IR35 Reforms

New research indicates that one-in-five UK sole traders are preparing for the upcoming changes to off-payroll working rules in the private sector, despite the fact that the legislation will not affect them.

Completed by the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) professional body and cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent, the research found that 18% of sole traders were making preparations for the new rules when they would not affect their business type.

Treasury Collects £1bn from Contractor Loan Charge
Editor | 23 May 2019
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The Financial Secretary to the Treasury this week confirmed that HMRC has collected £1bn from the loan charge, with most of the money coming from contractor employers.

Answering questions in parliament, Mel Stride said that 85% of the £1bn so far collected came from employers. He added that the average salary of the employees impacted was double the national average.

Taking effect this tax year, the loan charge is levied on contractors involved with one type of disguised remuneration scheme.

 

NHS Locum Contractor Wins Partial IR35 Tax Case
Editor | 11 July 2019
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An IR35 ruling on a case involving a urologist who worked for two different hospitals could have important consequences for medics operating as locums and NHS off-payroll working rules more generally.

In the tax tribunal case between a locum urologist and HMRC, a judge ruled that one of the contractor’s hospital contracts was inside IR35, while off-payroll working rules did not apply in the other.

Limited Company Contractors Can Benefit From Open Banking

Open Banking is set to modernise bookkeeping for limited company contractors, with banking data integrated directly into online accounting software.

Umbrella.co.uk's limited company contractors all use FreeAgent’s cloud accountancy software to simplify their accounting. And with FreeAgent on the forefront of the Open Banking changes, bookkeeping is about to get even easier.

Open Banking is set to roll out to all FreeAgent customers soon, so we thought we would take an in-depth look at the changes and how they can benefit limited company contractors.

European Court Rules That Employers Must Track Worker Hours

In a new ruling that could affect agencies and other employers, The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed that employers need to have systems in place to accurately record hours worked by a worker each day.

In a case between the Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and Deutsche Bank SAE, the court ruled that employers need to have records of hours worked to ensure compliance with the Working Time Directive.

Contractors Stung by Dividend Allowance Cut

After wrapping up their tax affairs for the 2018/19 tax year, many limited company contractors will only now be waking up to the reality of the 2018 dividend allowance cut, which saw the tax-free dividend allowance drop from £5,000 to £2,000.

In 2018/19, this tax-free allowance was applied to the first £2,000 of dividend income. Above £2,000, dividends are taxed at a flat rate according to the tax band they fall into.

Majority of Public Sector Contractors Ruled Inside IR35

Ahead of reforms to private sector IR35 rules, new research shows that several public sector organisations are, in the majority of cases, judging contractors to be inside IR35.

Since 2017, public bodies have been responsible for deciding whether a contractor is truly self-employed or whether they should be taxed as if they were an employee of the firm.

The rules apply to limited company contractors who, before the rule change, were responsible for judging their own IR35 status.

From April 2020, the same reforms will be introduced in the private sector, so that organisations with 50 or more employees will be responsible for judging a contractor’s IR35 status.

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