Government shelves MTD and revises IR35 rules

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The Making Tax Digital (MTD) scheme that was widely unpopular was omitted from the 2017 Finance Bill. The bill was shorter than that originally proposed. By removing the MTD from the bill, the government appears to be accepting as valid the concerns that some people had that with a snap election there was too little time to properly scrutinize the… Read more »

HMRC gives bad advice on expenses

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According to PRISM, the employment intermediary trade body, HMRC call centres have been giving contractors bad advice. Contractors have been told that they are entitled to key expenses when they are not. Workers have mistakenly been told that they are entitled to subsistence, travel or other expenses despite the fact they are subject to Supervision, Direction and Control and IR35…. Read more »

Public bodies raise rates ahead of IR35 reforms

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Public bodies are raising their rates to incentivise some PSC contractors who will be caught by the new IR35 laws. The rise in rates is to encourage the contractors to stay with the public bodies. The rates are typically used for PSCs who agree to instead work via umbrella companies; the increases have been designed to offset the extra tax… Read more »

Failure to prevent tax evasion will become a criminal offence

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The government is set to introduce new legislation under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 which will make companies liable for criminal acts committed by their employees who assist or encourage tax evasion by others such as suppliers or customers. Businesses will be liable even if the senior management were not involved or were unaware of the acts being committed. The… Read more »

UK businesses do not want major changes to employment laws

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According to a recent survey, only five per cent of British businesses want major changes to employment laws after Brexit. However, the same survey did reveal that 65 per cent would support some changes to employment laws. GQ Employment Law carried out the survey and its key findings included the following. Seventy-five per cent of those questioned would like the… Read more »

Self-employed worry and how Ship Shape can help

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Research commissioned by accounting software firm KashFlow showed that sole traders and micro businesses are spending 19 million hours every month, equivalent to 2.5 million working days, managing their finances with 50% lacking in confidence and a third stressing over the task. Around 15% of those surveyed said that managing their business finances was the thing they least enjoyed about… Read more »

Higher VAT costs for smaller traders

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April 2017 will see many small companies with low annual costs faced with a higher VAT liability if they currently use the Flat Rate scheme (FRS). What will the change mean for contractors? First, there is a change to the way ‘labour intensive’ companies will calculate their VAT liabilities for each quarter. The standard VAT scheme requires companies to calculate… Read more »

Freelance group calls for statutory definition of self-employment

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IPSE, the freelancer group, says the government should create a statutory definition of self-employment. This would end confusion over who is and is not self-employed. Currently, the law defines an employee and a worker, but has no definition for the self-employed. IPSE made its call when it was asked to give evidence to Matthew Taylor’s investigation into modern employment practices…. Read more »

HMRC ESS tool has no legal authority

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Determining a contractor’s IR35 status is important, but recently HMRC’s Employment Status Service (ESS) has been called into question. One authority says that the tool is not legally binding and even using it does not mean that reasonable care has been taken in determining status. The statement came from The Law Place’s Martyn Valentine. His firm specialises in employment status… Read more »

NIC hike withdrawn

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In an embarrassing climb-down, Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, was forced to withdraw a plan announced in the Budget on 8 March to increase Class 4 National Insurance contributions. The move was widely criticised and, to the relief of the self-employed, the Chancellor was forced to announce withdrawal of the plan in the face of continuing complaints that the increase would break… Read more »