Employment Status

Are you a contractor? If you work for someone else, it is important to know whether you are working for that person in an employed capacity or in a self-employed capacity as an independent contractor.

Your employment status will determine the charge to tax on income from your employment or self-employment. It will also determine the class of NICs, which are to be paid.

Umbrella Companies employ you for tax purposes and complete central returns for all their contractors. It's less hassle and more flexible for you but take home pay is typically less than that the limited company option.

The best option for you depends on your plans, 'one off' contract or 'contractor for life'? [Read More...]

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Private Medical Insurance for Contractors

Contractor Private Medical Insurance

In a Nutshell

Its about external back-up and ensuring your cover the bases.

In a Sentence

Would you ever trust your PC/Mac enough not to back-up your work? Is your business's primary resource backed-up?

Lost in Space

Being a freelance contractor means you only get paid for the work you do. Unfortunately, if you become unwell and are unable to work because of that, your client will not be paying up.

This is a fact of life for all contractors - one of the trade-offs for the otherwise preferable life-style of contracting. The key is preparation - factor in the unforeseen and unexpected.

NHS is Great

While the NHS provides a world-class service, there can be times when certain services are subject to long waiting times. The last thing a contractor needs when on assignment with a client.

It may be unfair; to have the ability to jump the queue and receive immediate attention, but then all is fair in love and contracting. Private medical insurance is your path to quick attention when you need it most. You'll be diagnosed, treated in comfort and returned to full health with the absolute minimum of delay.

Safety Net

Private medical insurance is simply a safety net, much like an external hard-drive back-up of your work. Would you consider going for any length of time without saving and backing-up your work? Apply the same principal to your health - it's crazy to think any business would carry on without having a plan to cover the malfunction of its primary resource. In your situation, YOU are the businesses primary resource.

What You need

In terms of private medical insurance you should consider carefully what the market is offering. As a minimum you want to have a policy that doesn't penalise you for claiming - no hike in premiums if you make a claim. You also want cover throughout the country - who knows where in the UK you might end up working.

Customer service is also key, you want to know exactly where, when and how to make a claim in the event you become ill. Again, the last thing you want is to have admin hassles when you're not 100% fit.

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HMRC Compliance

It's the basics... Compliance with Tax, VAT, PAYE and fiscal arrangements is mandatory for contractors regardless of whether you use an umbrella company or your own limited company.

Incredible then that there are still rogue umbrella companies and limited company accountants who expose their contractors to fraud. Umbrella Compare provides THE solution, we thoroughly vet all umbrella companies and limited company accountants that we list [Read more...].

Umbrella Compare provides a holistic overview of contracting with the aim of helping new and old contractors find the right payroll solutions. Contracting should be about focusing on the contract, not payroll, accounting, HMRC and bureaucracy.