Chancellor takes aim at private sector contractors
Editor | 15 October 2018
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Media reports suggest that the Treasury is planning to overhaul IR35 tax rules with a costly policy for limited company contractors.

The move, which could be announced in this month’s Budget, would see public sector IR35 compliance rules extended to the private sector.

Just like public sector bodies, private firms would be responsible for ensuring that off-payroll personal service company contractors stick to the IR35 rules.

If a firm deems a contractor to be ‘inside-IR35’, the contractor would need to be placed onto the company’s payroll and would be liable to pay higher national insurance contributions.

Missed the First Loan Charge Settlement Deadline? Don’t Despair
Editor | 3 October 2018
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HMRC is targeting contractors that have participated in disguised remuneration ‘loan schemes,’ and time is running out to avoid an enormous tax bill next year. 

If affected contractors fail to make a settlement with HMRC by 5 April 2019, any outstanding ‘loan’ tax payments could be tacked onto their 2018/19 tax bill.

Unfortunately, the first settlement deadline has already passed. HMRC had instructed contractors to register their interest in settling and fill out relevant documentation before 30 September.

Contractors’ 2019 Loan Charge Settlement Deadline Approaches

Contractors who have participated in a disguised remuneration loan scheme have until 30 September 2018 to send settlement information to HMRC, or they risk paying an enormous bill in the 2018/19 tax year.

Disguised remuneration schemes are tax avoidance schemes in which participants receive income in the form of a ‘tax-free loan’, rather than traditional income.

HMRC counts this type of loan as income and says that tax is due on it. In 2017, the government introduced the ‘2019 loan charge’ to retrospectively collect tax money from disguised remuneration scheme losers.

Take Home Pay Umbrella Companies
Editor | 29 August 2018
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The government has issued a warning about agencies and umbrella companies that claim to be able to help you save on tax and boost your take home pay.

Although everything may look legitimate and above board, these companies actually run tax avoidance schemes that could land you with a bigger tax bill and penalties, HMRC said.

The ‘too good to be true’ schemes work in different ways, but operators usually promise to reduce your tax liability and help you keep more of your income.

Higher rate contractors: Claim up to £400 in pension tax relief. Don't Miss Out!

Higher and additional rate contractors could be missing out on a significant tax refund because they aren’t claiming back the full tax relief on their pension contributions.

Richard Perch, who heads up the social work and healthcare division at Umbrella.co.uk said: “We think that this is the biggest tax relief that goes unclaimed by higher and additional rate contractors."

Making Tax Digital deadline: Time is running out for contractors
Editor | 4 October 2018
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Contractors are running out of time to comply with HMRC’s new Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative, which requires them to keep digital accounting records and use approved software to submit tax information to HMRC.

The first MTD deadline, for limited company contractors that earn over the £85,000 VAT threshold, is just a little over six months away.

From April 2019, these contractors will no longer be able to submit their VAT return manually with HMRC’s ‘direct tools’. Instead they will have to use HMRC-compliant software like FreeAgent or Xero to keep digital records and automatically submit their VAT returns. 

 

Freelancers Feeling Inflation More Than Most
Editor | 20 September 2018
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Freelancers are feeling the latest inflation rise more than employees, according to the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).

The warning for freelancers came after the Office for National Statistics revealed that inflation rose by a higher than expected 2.7% in August.

Measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), this was the highest monthly price increase in six months.

Jordan Marshall, IPSE’s Policy Development Manager said: “Freelancers will be especially hard hit by this jump in inflation not only because, unlike employees, they pick up their own business costs, but also because they travel more to win and work on different contracts. They will particularly feel the effect of the 13.5 per cent jump in air fares, because many of them take up contracts overseas and travel long distances in the UK.

Another Dividend Tax Grab This Autumn?

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been urged not to ‘clobber’ limited company contractors and other businesses with another dividend tax grab this autumn.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said it was concerned that the Treasury might once again cut the tax-free dividend allowance for limited company directors, to collect an extra £1.3bn in tax receipts. 

The Chancellor has already reduced the allowance from £5,000 to £2,000, a policy which took effect this April.

Now there is concern that Philip Hammond will announce a fresh raid on the dividend tax-free allowance in this year’s Autumn Statement.

HMRC Claims Fraudster’s £70,000 Poker Win
Editor | 23 August 2018
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A convicted fraudster from Preston has been ordered to pay £70,000 that he won in a Manchester poker game to the tax office.

Adam Lulat was jailed for 28 months in 2015 for his involvement in a £40 million money laundering scam and VAT fraud.

 

Care providers urged to consult HMRC on sleep-in shifts

HMRC is offering to help social care providers who may not have paid workers a National Minimum Wage  for sleep-in shifts.

Underpaying employers in the social care sector can avoid fines of up to £20,000 per worker if they join the Government’s social care compliance scheme (SCCS).

The move comes after the court of appeal reversed a ruling on payment for sleep-in shifts last month. 

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