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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New Bank Fresh Approach

New bank, Fresh Approach

RBS Equity Finance has recently set-up a new bank that is specifically targeted small businesses - Shawbrook Bank. The business is headed by Owen Woodley, and should be good news for contractors.

Shawbrook Bank intends to lend £250 million to SMEs across 2012.

Their business model isn't the conventional one of other banks; rather it's a type of asset finance. They will lend against the value of a property.

Shawbrook won't have any branches, they will operate via brokers. They've chosen this route based on research that indicates almost 90% of SMEs think banks lack common sense.

CEO, Owen Woodley, comments: "At a time when SMEs should be given all the help they need to grow and succeed, it's worrying that so many feel they are up against a loan application system that is unclear and obstructive.

  • "Having access to the right finance at the right time is vital for an expanding small business -and so is having a straightforward and efficient lending process. It's all very well for a bank to say the money for SMEs is there to lend, but if the process is bureaucratic and inflexible it means nothing but lost opportunities and slowed growth.
  • "When we created Shawbrook Bank we spent time listening to the needs of small businesses. We have chosen to operate through brokers rather than a branch network which makes us efficient and agile, and we make fast, robust decisions based on common sense and knowledge of our customers - not a computer score."

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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.