Consultants and contractors across Shropshire will see clearer guidelines to determine their tax liabilities from this month, according to a local specialist.
Andrew Morton who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Craven Arms and Ludlow said new HMRC guidelines on so-called ‘disguised employment’ were being piloted from this month. He comments:
“There are thousands of consultants and contractors across Shropshire, particularly in the education, healthcare, IT, clerical, engineering, legal, accountancy and construction sectors, who are genuinely self employed and have legitimately set up limited companies. But for a long time they have lived in fear of being caught by IR35 legislation because there has always been so much confusion about the rules.
“The IR35 rules were originally set up to prevent ‘disguised employment’ where an employee would typically set up a limited company and invoice their employer for their services via the limited company.
“In doing so, the employee could minimise tax and NIC liabilities by drawing a low salary and dividends from their limited company. The employer would have reduced liabilities in respect of NIC, statutory payments (such as sick pay) and holiday pay. The new guidelines aim to bring long-overdue clarity for people who carry out genuine freelance work and will be welcome news for many businesses in Shropshire.”
Andrew Morton said online questions would be used to determine employment status, including:
Do you have your own business premises?
Do you need professional indemnity insurance?
Can you increase your income by working more efficiently?
Do you employ people?
Would you have to correct any mistakes on a project at your own expense?
Do you have a separate bank account for business cashflow and expenses?
TaxAssist Accountants in Ludlow and Craven Arms provides tax and accountancy advice and services to local businesses.