UK Budget 2015 Summary in full for Contractors

Budget in Full - Key Points for Contractors

18 March 2015

The Government has published the full budget 2015. A search for contractors, freelancers and umbrella companies highlights the following:

Umbrella companies and employment intermediaries

1.250 Autumn Statement 2014 announced that the government would review the growing use of overarching contracts of employment that allow some temporary workers and their employers to benefit from tax relief for home-to-work travel expenses, relief not generally available to other workers. This is unfair. As a result of the review, the government will change the rules to restrict travel and subsistence relief for workers engaged through an employment intermediary, such as an umbrella company or a personal service company, and under the supervision, direction and control of the end-user. This will take effect from April 2016 following a consultation on the detail of the changes. It will level the playing field between employment businesses that seek to lower their costs by using these arrangements and those that do not.

1.251 Stakeholders have also raised concerns that individuals do not understand how their take-home pay is affected by these arrangements. The government wants employment intermediaries to provide workers with greater transparency on how they are employed, and what they are being paid. The Department of Business Innovation and Skills will consult on these proposals on transparency later this year.

Key is that no change until April 2016. It also talks about restricting rather than abolishing.

Also that contractors who work through their own limited company and who are outside the scope of IR35 should therefore by definition also be outside the scope of any changes to travel and subsistence relief.

Personal tax and welfare

Income Tax and National Insurance contributions

2.79 Employment Intermediaries: travel and subsistence (umbrella companies) – The government will consult on detailed proposals to restrict tax relief for travel and subsistence for workers engaged through an employment intermediary, such as an umbrella company or a personal service company, and under the supervision, direction and control of the end user. This follows a discussion paper published shortly after Autumn Statement 2014 on employment intermediaries and travel and subsistence relief. The changes will take effect from 6 April 2016 and will be legislated for in a future Finance Bill. The government wants employment intermediaries to provide workers with greater transparency on how they are employed and what they are being paid. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills will consult on these proposals on transparency later this year. (26)

Business Tax

2.209 Employment intermediaries: penalties – As announced at Autumn Statement 2014, the government will make a minor amendment to correct legislation underpinning the penalty regime for the late filing or non‑submission of quarterly returns from employment intermediaries. This will take effect from 6 April 2015. (Finance Bill 2015)