A poll carried out by leading accountancy software provider FreeAgent has found that nearly a third (30 per cent) of self-employed people say they work more than 48 hours per week.
In the House of Lords Grand Committee meeting on 10th November 2015 Lord Palmer speaks out about the rushed amendments to the March Finance Bill 2015 and the good work umbrella companies do in aiding the efficient collecting of taxes.
The key points raised by Lord Palmer were:
“The March 2015 Finance Bill—not the Bill before us today—had a clause added to it without consultation, and was enacted two days after that addition was made. The Government did not notify the umbrella company sector that it would be making those changes at that late stage. In speaking today, I am seeking that the Government should think again with the current Bill and repeal the section in question.
A large proportion of UK individuals will at some point experience debt problems. Levels of debt can easily get out of hand or changes in circumstances, such as an unexpected drop in income, can make previously affordable debts unmanageable.
A review of today’s Summer Budget (8th July 2015) highlights the following key points that could affect Umbrella Company workers or contractors/freelancers who operate through their own limited company :
Employment intermediaries and tax relief for travel and subsistence – As announced at March Budget 2015, the government has published a consultation document alongside the Summer Budget 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. The changes will take effect from 6 April 2016. (Finance Bill 2016)
IR35 reform – The government will engage with stakeholders this year on how to improve the effectiveness of existing intermediaries legislation (‘IR35’) which is designed to protect against disguised employment. A discussion document will be published after Summer Budget 2015.
Umbrella Accountants are pleased to announce they have now achieved the status of FreeAgent Premium Partner.
Having moved over from their existing software supplier in mid-2014 Umbrella Accountants have migrated over 1,000 clients onto the system and have a training program in place that means 100% of their accountancy staff are FreeAgent accredited.
Operations Director Neil Armitage said “I have passed the accreditation myself as FreeAgent is now at the core of our clients’ experience so we need to reflect that across the board. Using FreeAgent has meant that we can concentrate on providing first class accounting advice and tax planning while the clients have up to date information wherever they are. By signing up with FreeAgent we have 70 plus experts working on the accountancy software for our clients and updating constantly”
Kilian Fitzsimmons-Wilson from FreeAgent added “We’re delighted to welcome Umbrella Accountants as Premium Partners. Since they joined we have seen the numbers and usage rise considerably as the company grows and it’s pleasing to know FreeAgent has been a big part of that growth.”
Two organisations representing the interests of small business owners and self-employed workers have urged the Chancellor to deliver a budget that backs enterprise on Wednesday.
George Osborne, they argue, has to recognise the impact that small businesses have on the economy in terms of driving growth and creating jobs.
At a time when tax and pension changes are making things difficult for business owners, it is crucial that the Budget statement sends a strong signal to small businesses.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) used its pre-budget statement to urge the Chancellor to reform business rates and simplify the tax system.
If you are a contractor or freelancer working in the UK you may have been pitched the tax benefits of paying yourself through an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT).
With an EBT contractors receive just a basic wage equivalent to the Statutory National Minimum Wage. The remainder of their gross earnings go into an EBT, usually offshore. The company making the payment also claims Corporation Tax relief on these payments. The trust then “loans” back the money to the contractor and this loan is not therefore taxable. The loan is never repaid. In effect you receive your wages tax free.
EBT’s have been used from such professions as IT Contractors to Premier League Footballers.
Most UK businesses plan to take on more contractors and freelancers in the next three months, new data suggests. The latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) reveals that 98% of companies intend to maintain or increase the size of their non-permanent workforce during the next quarter.
As the sun sets on the General Election, and the UK prepares for a five-year term for a Conservative majority Government, many in the contracting community are returning to a familiar debate: are the powers that be ready to treat the issues faced by the surging numbers of freelancers and contractors with greater urgency?
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.