autumn statement Articles

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.

Starting with the more positive news for business motorists to come out of Phillip Hammond’s debut Autumn Statement, fuel duty has been frozen for the seventh consecutive year, meaning that contractors aren’t faced with having to dig deeper in order to put fuel in their vehicles, and nor are the firms some of them work for, such as couriers or construction companies.

The lamentable state of UK roads often results in delays along with damage to vehicles’ wheels, suspension and other components, so additional welcome news for contractors who drive is that an extra £1.1 billion will be provided by the government by 2020-21, aimed at relieving congestion and upgrading key roads. £220 million will also be spent on alleviating notorious pinch-points, helping the self-employed make more efficient use of their valuable time.

Self-employed workers, landlords and small business owners are all faced with the prospect of having to fill out four tax returns every year.

Filing accounts quarterly will bring small operations, who currently only have to send their accounts to HMRC once a year, into line with large corporations. Some believe that the extra administrative burden could be harmful to taxpayers but we believe that accountancy customers will fare better than most.

The plans, which were only recently discovered having been slipped into the small print of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, will affect around four million Britons. 

marketing | 4 December 2015
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With the ink barely dry on the Autumn Statement, chancellor George Osborne has announced that his 2016 Budget will take place in less than four months’ time on the 16th of March.

Importantly, this date is just before the new April tax year, which opens up the possibility that the Chancellor could enact some last minute tax changes that could be disadvantageous to contractors. 

marketing | 26 November 2015
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Umbrella contractors, like those employed by, had a number of reasons to smile yesterday as the Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement address to the House of Commons.

Following months of speculation about the impact of tax changes for contractors, the statement was relatively mild compared to some of the expectations in the contractor community.

The biggest relief for contractors employed by umbrella companies is that on first reading it appears that they will still be able to claim tax relief on their Travel and Subsistence expenses.

Our interpretation of the restriction on Travel & Subsistence expenses is that it will only apply to contractors working through their own limited company that are caught by IR35 legislation.

 Autumn Statement - 5 key takeaways for contractors
marketing | 23 November 2017
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In amongst the Britain’s Got Talent audition that the chancellor took part in yesterday were some announcements regarding the economy and some good news for contractors. We won’t repeat his numerous Christmas Cracker jokes but here’s the 5 key takeaways for contractors;

The Chancellor’s first Autumn Statement contained some pretty eye-watering sums. The estimated cost of Brexit at £58.7bn and an extra £122bn of borrowing in this parliament are two of the biggest.

There were some positive numbers though. £26bn to fund investment in housing, transport, digital technology and research and development will prove valuable to contractors in some of these industries.

Others, meanwhile, will be left counting the cost of tax increases. Here are seven of the most important points for contractors and limited company owners.

In November 2015, prior to the release of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, we wrote to the Chancellor raising our concerns in respect of proposed legislation changes to IR35, travel & subsistence tax relief for contractors and the one month rule that was incorrectly rumoured to being introduced for contractors working through their own limited company.

Today, 9th December 2015, we have received a reply and are thankful for the time taken in doing so.

Coincidently today is the day when the first draft of the new Finance Bill will be released. This Bill will contain the new legislation.

The confusion that was surrounding the wording in the Autumn Statement documents regarding restrictions to be imposed on tax relief for Contractor Travel and Subsistence claims has now been clarified by HMRC.

The initial confusion was compounded by the fact that George Osborne made no mention of any proposed changes during his speech. 

marketing | 26 November 2015
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Once the dust has settled and the analysis over and done with, the Autumn Statement delivered by Chancellor George Osborne yesterday may well be looked back on as positive for business.

With the economy in good shape, and the Chancellor all too aware that he will be challenging a party leadership contest in the not too distant future, it looks as though he is trying to shirk the unpopular public image of ‘George the Cutter’.

Our interpretation of the restriction on Travel & Subsistence expenses is that it will only apply to contractors working through their own limited company that are caught by IR35 legislation.

However, other commentators in the industry interpret the statement made to be that restrictions will apply to umbrella company workers and PSC’s caught by IR35 and that potentially there may be a Supervision, Direction and Control type test to see if a worker is entitled i.e. that they are truly self-employed.