Balfour, Vodafone and Others Suspended from Prompt Payment Code

An organisation acting on behalf of the government has cracked down on late paying large businesses this week, suspending 12 firms from a voluntary punctual payment code.

The list of firms includes several construction giants Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke, Interserve, Costain and Persimmon.

Treasury: 2019 Loan Charge Will Go Ahead Despite Appeals

The Treasury has confirmed that the 2019 Loan Charge will take effect this week, despite appeals from MPs, members of the House of Lords and Loan Charge campaigners.

HMRC released a last-minute statement on Wednesday, reminding Loan Scheme users that they have an obligation to pay the tax owed.

The statement urged users of disguised remuneration schemes to come forward and settle their debts by April 5. The tax authority also said that ‘flexible’ payment options are available to those that worry they will not be able to pay.

 

Fewer Contractors Saving for Retirement

New research suggests that the pensions system is broken for independent workers, with a 12% increase in the number of contractors that aren’t saving for retirement.

The survey of 1,000 contractors shows that almost two-thirds of people that work for themselves avoid paying any money into a personal pension scheme.

That equates to almost three million contractors that may not have enough money when they finally give up work.

Editor | 12 March 2019
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Large and medium sized private sector organisations have just over a year left to prepare for important changes to IR35 legislation.

When similar changes were introduced in the public sector in April 2017, many organisations were woefully underprepared. In the most serious cases, public sector organisations made costly errors and saw major projects delayed.

Getting ready for April 2020 requires effective leadership and co-operation across departments and business areas.

In this blog post, we will provide a brief introduction to the changes before detailing what different teams can do to prepare.

 

How Brexit Will Affect Contractors
Editor | 12 February 2019
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Brexit day is fast approaching and there is little certainty over how the negotiations will turn out.

Whatever happens, Brexit is likely to impact contractors in the UK. There may be some benefits in the short and long term, but many contractors are also likely to face some restrictions on their work.

In this blog post, we investigate the most likely Brexit outcomes and how they will affect contractors in the UK.

HMRC Wins Case Over Contractor Loan Scheme

HMRC has won a tribunal case against a contractor loan scheme promoted by Hyrax Resourcing Ltd.

Hyrax Resourcing will now be forced to disclose the details of 1,180 ‘high earners’ that use the scheme and help the tax authority claim back more than £40 million in unpaid taxes.

The scheme in question was a disguised remuneration tax avoidance scheme that paid users in loans so that they could avoid paying income tax and National Insurance contributions on their earnings.

 

Lorraine Kelly, HMRC, IR35, broadcaster, tax, tribunal, ITV, control, BBC
Editor | 21 March 2019

HMRC has suffered another high-profile IR35 defeat after broadcaster Lorraine Kelly successfully appealed a £1.2m tax bill at a tribunal.

The tax authority had claimed that the host of the popular weekday morning Lorraine show was effectively an ITV employee and so was liable to pay income tax and National Insurance contributions.

How the Spring Statement affects contractors

The Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his annual Spring Statement on Wednesday, providing an update on the state of the economy and announcing several minor policy updates.

Although the Spring Statement doesn’t have the kind of wholesale policy announcements that are characteristic of the Autumn Budget, the Chancellor did have some important news for contractors and professional employment service providers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most important issues for the sector.

HMRC Launches Private Sector IR35 Consultation

HMRC has launched a fresh consultation on changes to off-payroll Intermediaries Legislation (IR35), due to take effect in the private sector from April 2020.

The changes would see reforms introduced in the public sector in 2017 extended to the private sector.

The change will affect contractors that operate through an intermediary like a limited company or personal service company (PSC).

Instead of judging their own IR35 status, the private sector organisation that engages the contract will make this decision. It could mean that more contractors are deemed ‘inside IR35’ and liable to  pay income tax and National Insurance contributions.

Why Recruiters Need a Preferred Supplier List
Editor | 4 February 2019
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A preferred supplier list or PSL is list of pre-approved suppliers from which managers and employees can procure goods and services at a lower risk.

These lists are common for recruitment agencies as the contractors working through them tend to use the services of umbrella companies and other professional services providers.

Most agencies will require their PSL to be audited annually by external bodies, this reduces the likelihood of expensive compliance issues and other supply chain risks.

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