travel Articles

As disclosed in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the Government have drafted legislation changes that will see workers employed through umbrella companies no longer being eligible for tax relief (Income Tax and Employee National Insurance) on reimbursement of their travel and subsistence expenses.

The change is expected to affect up to 430,000 umbrella company workers.

Relief will be restricted where services are supplied under the supervision, direction or control of another person.

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. 

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.

Budget 2015 confirmed that a review of contractors expenses and in particular travel & subsistence would take place in the summer of 2015 with potential changes being made for the tax year commencing 6th April 2016. It proposes that Supervision, Direction and Control (SDC) will be the key factors in deciding whether a contractor is genuinely a self-employed or should in fact be treated as an employee of the end client where they are working.

marketing | 5 March 2015
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The umbrella sector is, in many ways, something of an unsung hero for the UK economy. With over 400,000 employees working ‘under the umbrella’, and a yearly contribution of over £11billion to the Treasury coffers, surely this enterprise is substantial – and positive enough – to earn the respect of the Government?

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 Chancellor, George Osborne will deliver his 2015 Autumn Statement today Wednesday, November 25th at 12.30pm. 

Along with the detail of the spending review, the Autumn Statement is rumoured to include various changes that may affect contractors and freelancers working in the UK. He is, in particular, rumoured to be targeting tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses as well as those contractors who work through their own limited company. 

We will be providing regular updates throughout the speech and on reviewing the full detail of the Autumn Statement once published, which is expected in early December.

We will also be monitoring the responses in the coming days and what these changes will mean.

marketing | 17 September 2015
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A recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling will have some important consequences for European employment law - specifically for contractors under the Working Time Directive (WTD).

Last week, the ECJ ruled that a group of Spanish workers with no ‘fixed or habitual’ workplace should have their time travelling to and from their first and last appointments counted against the 48 hour maximum working week.

The case involved a team of burglar alarm technicians who sometimes spent three hours travelling home at the end of their working day.

The European court ruled that these contractors should receive remuneration for the time they spent travelling to and from work, because they are at their ‘employer’s disposal’, carrying out their activities and duties ‘in accordance with national laws and/or practices’.

To keep contractors up to speed on their entitlements under European law, we’ve explained three of the most important details of the ECJ ruling: 

In a speech designed to show how well the economy was recovering and how it was prosperity all around it may have been hard to notice that George Osborne had one eye on the huge number of contractors and freelancers that support the economy and its recovery.

The CBI (Confederation of British Business) who lobby on behalf of British businesses have responded to the HMRC discussion on Employment Intermediaries: Temporary Workers – Relief for Travel and Subsistence Expenses.