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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Contractor Investments Make your Money work for you

Contracting?  Invest your Money

Earning money as a contractor is more than fulfilling your assignment - work smart.

There are a variety of ways a contractor can invest their hard earned income. Like any individual, you should be aiming for maximum return on your business resources. One of your resources is the money sitting in your deposit bank account.

Tax Allowance

Look at yourself as a business, not simply as a contractor. One area which all contractors really need to focus on is tax breaks. There are tax breaks around which you need to consider.

You cannot possibly know the intricacies of every market, and the financial sector is one where specialist knowledge is a must. For that reason, contractors need to be on the look-out for a reliable business partner.

There are plenty of IFAs around today, though the key to good investments is to find an IFA that you can trust and can work with just like any other business partner.

Selection of Investments

ISAs - a tax-free vehicle whereby investments may be made by either lump sums or regular payments into either stocks and shares, corporate bonds, cash or a mixture of both. ISAs could be useful in many portfolios as there is not tax to pay on any gain that is made on the investments or on any income received.

Unit trusts/OEICs - These are a collection of either shares or bonds and which as a result provide the investor with a spread of risk, rather than having all their assets exposed to one company.

Capital Investment Bonds - Long term capital growth, these are predominantly available via life insurance companies and allow you to invest in a range of funds managed by professional investment houses.

Additional Investment Structures - As every client has different needs we also advise on other more specialist investments such as:

  • Venture capital trusts
  • Enterprise investment schemes
  • Structured Investments
  • Investment Trusts
  • Offshore Capital Investment Bonds
  • Exchange traded funds

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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.