disguised remuneration Articles

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 harpoons new ‘loyalty points’ umbrella scheme as a disguised renumeration tax avoidance scheme

HM Revenue and Customs has warned taxpayers that it is aware of a new ‘tax avoidance’ umbrella scheme in which contractors are paid, in part, with loyalty points that can be redeemed for ‘tax free’ income.

The tax authority has said that they consider the umbrella scheme to be against the rules of disguised remuneration and that users of the scheme will have their tax affairs investigated. 

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.