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Contractor Doctor Q A: Page 1

Contractor doctor: can I apply for different contracts with the same agent?
Should you target your CV differently for different roles advertised by the same agent?

Contractor doctor: are advertised contract rates a good guide to market rates?
Do the advertised market rates give a good indication of rates in the market?

Contractor doctor: should I quit my job before going contracting?
The catch-22 for many is not wanting to quit their job to secure a contract, but without flexibility they can't get one. Here's what to do.

Contractor doctor: can contractors using umbrella companies be caught by IR35?
Does working for an umbrella company enable you to avoid it?

Contractor doctor: does choice of umbrella significantly affect take home pay?
Does it make any significant difference which umbrella company you choose in terms of final take home pay after tax?

Contractor doctor: can I take my first contract at the company i'm planned on leaving?
Should you accept your first contract at the company you are leaving permanent employment to go contracting?

Contractor doctor: can I leave early even without a termination clause?
Advises an unhappy contractor how to get out of a contract without a termination clause.

Contractor doctor: is it worth going permanent after contracting?
Advice to a contractor who is considering accepting a permanent position at the company where they are contracting.

Contractor Doctor: Do contractors automatically get employment rights after 2 years?
Contractors are service providers, so even after two years they don’t qualify for employment rights and cannot demand a permanent job from clients.

Contractor doctor: can I change contract terms to be outside IR35 during a contract?
Is it possible to change contract terms to position yourself IR35 during an existing contract? The issues explored

Contractor doctor: is it possible to negotiate a rise when there are 'no rises'?
Want to raise your rate with an existing client? Is the client and agent pushing back? Here's how to negotiate properly and with a strength.

Contractor doctor: does taking a break get around the 24 month contractor expenses rule?
Answers a contractor's question about the 24 month expenes rule and explains the rules in detail.

Contractor doctor: how can I renegotiate a smaller agency margin?
Getting a higher rate by reducing a very high agency margin.

Contractor doctor: can I legally go from permanent to contracting at the same company?
Answers the question from a permanent employee on whether they are legally allowed to immediately contract with the same company after leaving.

Contractor doctor: can I get part time flexible contracts?
Contractor Doctor offers advice to a permanent employee who is considering part time contracting.

Contractor Doctor: How much income should I save for holidays and sickness?
Contractors don’t receive sick pay or get paid for holidays, so need to plan their finances to take into account expected, and unexpected, time off.

Contractor doctor: Do I need to set up a limited company before seeking a contract?
Don't be late and lose the contract. Make sure you set your company up or join an umbrella ready for your start date.

Contractor doctor: Can I bypass an agency that has already introduced me?
The 3 main reasons why it's unlikely you will ever be able to cut out an agency and go direct to the client.

Contractor doctor: can I contract whilst still being employed?
Considering an out of office hours contract whilst still being permanently employed.

Contractor doctor: should I quit my job before applying for contracts?
A permanent employee asks whether they need to hand in their notice before applying for contract positions.

Contractor Doctor: Can I claim Jobseeker’s Allowance if I have a limited company?
If you’re short of work, you can claim JSA providing your company funds are under a threshold, though it may slightly complicate your tax situation.

Contractor Doctor: can my agency force me to add new clauses into my contract?
Contractors should be wary when asked to add new clauses to a contract, as there may be less risky alternatives, explains Roger Sinclair of Egos.

Contractor Doctor: When is tax payable on declared dividends?
HMRC requests tax on dividends twice throughout the year, but the tax attracted depends on various factors, says Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

Contractor Doctor: How can I account for overpaying my dividend?
Contractors who have overpaid a dividend can treat it as a personal loan, but must repay it within nine months, says Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

Contractor Doctor: Should I use ER or a pension to extract cash from my Ltd company?
Contractors trying to tax-efficiently extract and invest limited company cash can choose ER or a pension, but might be best advised to wait and see.

Contractor Doctor: can I use a tax certificate to offset my tax bill in the UK?
Contractors working overseas can face tax complications, but acquiring a tax certificate can provide an easy and efficient resolution in most cases.

Contractor Doctor: can I claim ESA sick pay via my company when on sick leave?
Contractors who fall ill do have options available, despite the lack of protection, but only if they plan ahead, warns Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

Contractor Doctor: Should I fake sick leave to avoid complications with my agency?
Contractors who fake sick leave to end a contract early may be in breach of contract. A negotiated termination is a more effective outcome.

Contractor Doctor: Can I claim lunch expenses when walking to work?
There are no HMRC rules that prevent a contractor from claiming subsistence expenses just because they walk to work.

Contractor Doctor: Can I claim shared parental leave through my umbrella company?
Umbrella company contractors can claim shared parental leave from their service provider, if they are eligibe, says Parasol's Kerry Harvey.

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