MP Calls for Shared Parental Leave for Freelancers

Labour MP and Shadow Education Minister Tracy Brabin this week called on the Government to extend Shared Parental Leave to freelancers and self-employed workers.

Currently, only people in traditional employment can get access to the scheme, which allows a mother and father to share leave and gives parents the ability to split the leave into blocks .

Parliament agreed to the preparation of a bill that would extend this right to self-employed workers after it was revealed that take up of the flexible work and pay scheme could be as low as 2%.

Brabin told MPs that the world of work is changing as more and more people classify themselves as self-employed. 

HMRC: IR35 Reforms Could Hit Private Sector

Newly released HMRC forum discussion papers suggest that the IR35 reforms that have caused such a headache for contractors in the public sector could be introduced into the private sector as early as April 2019.

In a December meeting, HMRC acknowledged that public sector IR35 changes had fuelled some non-compliance but insisted that addressing ‘an immediate Exchequer risk’ was a main priority.

This indicates that the tax authority plans to speed up proposed changes and bring in more money by addressing IR35 non-compliance in the private sector.

What to do if you can’t pay your income tax bill on time
Editor | 29 January 2018
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The self-assessment deadline is less than a week away on January 31.

There are troubling signals for contractors in the construction industry as Carillion is forced into liquidation and sector output dips dramatically. Contributing £90 billion to the economy each year, the construction sector is one of the largest in the UK. It is highly reliant on self-employed workers, with 800,000 of the 2.9 million people working in construction self-employed. Carillion, the second largest construction company in the UK, went into liquidation on Monday after the company’s banks refused
Editor | 16 January 2018
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There are troubling signals for contractors in the construction industry as Carillion is forced into liquidation and sector output dips dramatically.

Contributing £90 billion to the economy each year, the construction sector is one of the largest in the UK. It is highly reliant on self-employed workers, with 800,000 of the 2.9 million people working in construction self-employed.

Carillion, the second largest construction company in the UK, went into liquidation on Monday after the company’s banks refused to lend it more money. 

Self-assessment deadline looms: Get help now

The deadline for submitting your online self-assessment tax return is just over six weeks away and accountants are being booked up quickly as time runs out.

Remember that you should have submitted your tax return and paid any taxes you owe by Midnight on 31 January.

With its large team of accountants, Umbrella.co.uk is well placed to help clients complete their self-assessment tax returns on time. But spaces are filling up quickly and opportunities to get help are running out. 

HMRC Wins IR35 Case against BBC Presenter
Editor | 19 February 2018
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HMRC won its first IR35 ruling in seven years, as former BBC presenter Christa Ackroyd lost an appeal covering tax years between 2006/07 and 2012/2013.

In Christa Ackroyd Media (CAM) Ltd vs. Revenue & Customs, HMRC successfully argued that the ‘Look North’ presenter owed more than £400,000 in income tax and National Insurance Contributions.

The win is significant for HMRC because it is the first in a string of IR35 appeals against BBC personalities. 

Start a contractor website on a shoestring
Editor | 5 February 2018
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Not all contractors need a website, but in certain industries it can strengthen your reputation and may help bring in new clients.

You have to be careful that costs don’t spiral out of control, however, and one way of doing that is to set yourself a shoestring budget to build your website on. Here are our top tips.  

HMRC fudging call centre waiting time figures

The taxman has come under pressure from MPs and contracting organisations after it was revealed that HMRC doesn’t include time spent listening to automated messages in their official ‘waiting time’ figures.

January is a busy month for contractors. Many have a back-log of Christmas work and now have less than 2 weeks left to file any outstanding self-assessment tax returns.

Six tax changes contractors need to know about in 2018
Editor | 8 January 2018
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For many contractors, the Christmas break finished as quickly as it started. A whirlwind few days of stressed-out travelling and mince pie gorging is all that your average contractor can expect before its back to work.

But the New Year period does offer some space for quiet reflection.

Many contractors will have set New Year’s Resolutions and many of these will have centred on money. 

Dividend allowance cut confirmed: How much it will cost you
Editor | 11 December 2017
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The government’s second Finance Bill has been confirmed, meaning that the tax free dividend allowance will be cut from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.

The cut could cost contractors up to £1,143 a year as the Chancellor continues with his raid on self-employed finances.

The dividend allowance cut was first mentioned in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget speech. Phillip Hammond said: “People should have choices about how they work, but those choices should not be driven primarily by differences in tax treatment.”

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