Contractor News

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TAAR, do your conditions apply?

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Liquidation and phoenixism

Budget 2016 introduced measures to counter phoenixism, the practice of carrying on the same business or trade successively through a series of companies where each becomes insolvent in turn. Each time this happens, the insolvent company’s business, but not its debts, is transferred to a new, similar ‘phoenix’ company. The insolvent company then ceases to trade and might enter into formal insolvency proceedings (liquidation, administration or administrative receivership) or be dissolved.

PAYE Penalties

Reminder to employers about late filing penalties

HMRC’s latest Employer Bulletin provides a timely reminder about PAYE late filing penalties.

The Quarter 1 late filing penalty notices were issued last month and continue to be issued on a risk assessed basis. A penalty will not be charged for delays for up to three days after the statutory filing date. HMRC will however contact employers who persistently file after the statutory filing date but within three days, and they risk being considered for a penalty.

Rich pickings for engineering contractors

The demand for specialist engineering contractors continues to rise steadily across the UK, fuelled by huge public sector maintenance projects as well as the rapid export growth of the automotive and aerospace industries.

The market for engineering specialists is candidate led with contractors often finding themselves in a position to juggle multiple contract offers given the dearth of talent in the sector. This has had a knock-on effect on remuneration rates as organisations in both the public and private sectors are prepared to pay top dollar for the expertise needed to bring their projects to completion.

So what are the prized niche skills that suitably qualified and trained engineering contractors bring to the table?

100 BBC Presenters Under IR35 Enquiry

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It has been made public knowledge that approximately 100 current and former BBC presenters are currently under IR35 enquiry. The revelation came during a recent First Tier Tax Tribunal hearing involving BBC news presenters Tim Willcox and Joanna Gosling who operate through their own personal service companies, Tim Willcox Ltd and Paya Ltd.

Simple Steps to Tax Efficiency in 2016/17

Individual taxpayers are afforded a number of allowances that enable them to receive income in their hands tax-free and by structuring your affairs it is possible to keep HMRC’s hands off just over £23K of your hard earned income.

Are the benefits of contracting under attack?

The government announced in October 2016 that a top level review would look at employment rights and practices affecting some six million workers, including the 1.7 million strong army of contractors. The man whose mission it is to examine the current status quo is Matthew Taylor, current CEO of the Royal Society of Arts and former adviser to ex-labour leader, Tony Blair.

We examine the proposals, and consider the implications for contractors of what Prime Minister Theresa May referred to as “keeping pace with the changing world of work”.

Contractor Relevant Life now available with Critical Illness Cover

Contractor Relevant Life

C&D BPS are excited to introduce Contractor Relevant Life & Critical Illness Insurance, the most comprehensive Relevant Life & Critical Illness Policy currently available on the market today. You can now add Critical Illness to your tax-efficient Relevant Life Plan and have your Limited Company pay the premiums. This new policy is proving very popular in the Contractor market, not only can you now add Critical Illness but your company pays the premiums. It is classed as a business expense, meaning it’s tax-deductible, is not a benefit in kind, and can be up to 50% cheaper than paying for the same cover personally.

IR35 Case Study - Luck of the Draw

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As IR35 specialists who have been defending contractors for the best part of two decades, we have dealt with a number of different HMRC status inspectors in our time, explains Qdos Contractor.

Secrets for Contracting Success: part 2

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Steven Baker has been contracting as a software tester in the retail banking sector for the past six years. It was on his daily commute from Edinburgh to Glasgow that the native New Zealander decided to produce a top tips guide for new and experienced contractors.

We begin the second part of our interview by asking what contractors can do to secure their next project assignment…

Claiming Entrepreneurs’ Relief

Pay attention to the detail when claiming Entrepreneurs’ Relief

Once a contractor has decided to call time on their company there is the important matter of getting their hands on what remains left in the company, which is normally a large pile of cash – hopefully. This can either be extracted as a dividend or as capital. With dividend taxation rates reaching as high as 32.5% for higher rate payers and 38.1% for additional rate payers, the attraction of treating the final distribution as capital, claiming Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) and paying Capital Gains Tax at a rate of 10% will be rather more appealing.

More third party debt transfer

HMRC consults on penalties for VAT fraud

As part of measures to crack down on VAT fraud HMRC are proposing a new penalty which could be collected from company officials. This increasingly favoured method of punishment is suggested in HMRC’s recent consultation titled, Penalty for participating in VAT fraud.

HiredByMe launches Portable PES

hiredbyme icon HiredByMe launches Portable PES, solving a £180 million problem for the City’s contractors.

HiredByMe, the compliance and onboarding firm, last week launched the Portable PES – a product allowing contractors to earn more by spending more time on engagements and less time unpaid on the bench.

Secrets for Contracting Success: part 1

101 icon It was on his daily commute from Edinburgh to Glasgow that Steven Baker decided to write ‘101 Contracting Tips – Valuable Tips for New and Experienced Contractors’.

A highly experienced software tester with a retail banking background, Steven decided to take advantage of the greater earning potential of contracting in 2010. He has worked for a number of leading retail banks, including Santander, Lloyds Bank, Westpac and Rabobank.

In the typical ‘Kiwi’ tradition of seeing the world, the Auckland native’s journey has taken him to Sydney, Dublin, London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Steven now lives in the Scottish capital with his wife and daughter.

We decided to test his knowledge in the first of our two-part interview…

APNs – more where they came from

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£3 billion collected already by using Accelerated Payment Notices

HMRC have now laid their hands on £3 billion up front from those involved in tax avoidance, through the use of Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs).

No Sunshine in Cyprus

HMRC issue warning over CGT avoidance scheme

HMRC have issued a warning to taxpayers not to use an avoidance scheme which takes advantage of Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER), that turns income into a capital again thereby avoiding income tax and NIC.

MTD delay may not be enough

Treasury Committee warning to Chancellor over Making Tax Digital

Whilst HMRC have agreed to delay the introduction of MTD (Making Tax Digital) until 2019 to provide further time for larger businesses to adjust, Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, has said that this may not be enough.

Small businesses struggling with RTI

HMRC keen to learn why PAYE errors occur

Real Time Information (RTI) has been an integral part of the PAYE landscape now for over 3 years although the rules were relaxed for micro-employers, ie those with up to 9 employees, until April of this year.


Autumn of discontent for contractors

With the date for the Autumn Statement now set for 23 November, chancellor Philip Hammond will want to steer a steady course for post-Brexit Britain.

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The big question on contractors' lips is, 'How will the public sector IR35 reforms affect us and the industry moving forward?' We present the facts and the potential fallout from the draconian new rules.

Director escapes company's PAYE debt

HMRC unable to pin SME's tax and NIC debt on its director


HMRC are increasingly looking to legislation contained in Reg. 72 Income Tax (PAYE) Regulations 2003 and Reg. 86 Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 that enables PAYE tax and NIC debts to be transferred to the employee in specific circumstances.

Delay in proceedings for SME's

MTD put back a year

Following concerns about the ambitious timetable for implementing MTD (Making Tax Digital), HMRC have delayed its introduction until 2019 to allow businesses more time to prepare and adjust.

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