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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HMRC Umbrella Company Approved Umbrella Company

HMRC Umbrella Company

New to contracting and the umbrella company service? Looking for an HMRC umbrella company? If you are you could be looking for some time - because there's no such thing as an HMRC umbrella company.

If you see an umbrella company advertising its services as 'approved by HMRC' your alarm bells should start to ring loudly.

One Bad Apple...

Unscrupulous umbrella companies who claim to be HMRC approved causes a lot of anger amongst legitimate umbrella companies.

  • HMRC do not, never have, and probably never will approve any individual umbrella company.
  • The only thing HMRC approve is the general way in which umbrella companies operate.
  • HMRC have no problem with the umbrella company service or the contractors who use them but they do not endorse or support individual named companies.

If you see any umbrella company saying they are an 'HMRC umbrella company' what you are witnessing is their marketing department playing with words just to get your attention. Do not be taken in by this ploy.

Homework Helps

If you are new to contracting the first thing to do is read this guide for first time contractors.

If you're looking for the best umbrella company and deciding which umbrella company to register with, take a few moments to do some basic research.

Contractor Supermarket has an easy to use directory of umbrella companies which details every single umbrella company and their:

  • Prices
  • Net take home pay
  • Levels of customer service

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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.