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ContractorCalculator: Contracting news in brief – 06/Sept/2013

Contractors across all sectors experiencing sustained growth, confirm key surveys

Contractors working across all key sectors of the UK economy are now experiencing growth in their markets, confirm three important surveys. The Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) UK Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for UK Manufacturing, Construction and Services all showed strong output during August. Hiring in the construction and services sectors has increased as a result. “The UK service sector turned in another stellar performance in August,” noted Markit senior economist Paul Smith on the services PMI. More...

Contractors offered a new compliance passport and tools by IR35 website

Limited company contractors can access a range of free tools and apply for a paid-for compliance passport from new website IR35buddy.com. The tools and passport are designed to help contractors manage their IR35 risk and demonstrate to HMRC that they are outside the tax legislation. Other services include a ‘substitution buddy’, a ‘contractual compliance buddy’ and a ‘premises buddy’, all of which are intended to ensure contractors score in the low risk band of the business entity tests. More...

Construction contractor demand tops Reed Job Index for second consecutive month

Construction contracts and jobs saw a 67% year-on-year increase in vacancies during August 2013, leading the Reed Job Index demand league table for a second consecutive month. On a month-by-month basis in core contracting disciplines, contractors in the energy sector were most in demand, with vacancies increasing by 13.3% between July and August 2013. Regionally, Scotland was the fastest contract creator over the summer, followed by the East Midlands. More...

Umbrella company contractors gain an unlikely AWR ‘champion’ that might make things worse

Umbrella company contractors, who are within scope of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), have gained an unlikely champion for their rights under the legislation in the form of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The organisation has complained to the European Commission (EC) about the UK government “failing to implement the Temporary Agency Workers Directive properly”. The TUC is calling for a ban on Swedish Derogation contracts, which would impact negatively on contractors’ pockets if successful. More...

Limited company contractors unlikely to benefit from EU micro-entity accounting changes

Limited company contractors are unlikely to benefit from the European Union’s latest move to cut red tape for small businesses when the UK adopts the EU 4th and 7th Directives into company law. Despite the EU’s good intentions, contractors are unlikely to save tax and accountancy bills when the rules come into force. “It seems like a good idea, but there are a few question marks about the detail. And some contractors may be worse off as a result,” notes Abbott Moore’s head of tax, James Abbott. More...

Umbrella contractors in the healthcare sector predict prospects will improve

Umbrella company contractors working in the healthcare sector are predicting that government changes to the NHS will deliver an increase in the number of new contracts over the next 12 months. The Association of Professional Staffing Organisations (APSCo) reports that a survey by umbrella firm Giant also found that the number of healthcare contractors working outside the NHS has increased. Only 2% of the total number of contract workers in 2012 worked in private healthcare, which rose to11% in 2013, and the trend looks set to continue. More...

Oil and gas contractors can expect thousands of new contracts from North Sea investment

Oil and gas contractors can expect 23,000 new contracts and jobs to be created in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) over the next five years. Rigzone’s Jon Mainwaring reports that Barclays’ UK Oil and Gas Survey 2013 “revealed that 65% of energy companies…said they anticipated their firm increasing its capital expenditure budget over the next couple of years”. Those surveyed have plans to “recruit up to 23,000 personnel during the next five years”, following a surge in confidence. More...

Contractors nationwide can now choose ADR when in conflict with HMRC

Contractors all over the UK can now benefit from HMRC’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) when tackling disagreements with the taxman. Following two years of trials in selected UK regions, HMRC has elected to roll out the service nationally. “Our customers have told us that they like the speed and flexibility of ADR,” highlights HMRC director of local compliance Richard Summersgill. “Evidence has shown that by using the simple ADR service many disputes can be significantly shortened and resolved without recourse to tribunal.”

Contractors warned to ensure their expenses claims don’t fall foul of ‘duality of purpose’

Contractors have been warned to ensure that their expenses claims are rock solid, particularly those for accommodation, travel and subsistence for periods spent working on contracts away from home. AccountingWeb’s Nick Huber reports that a series of recent tribunal wins by HMRC reinforce the need to ensure that any expenses are “solely for the purpose of trade”. Actor Tim Healy was challenged over his expenses, and had a first tier victory overturned by the upper tribunal because of doubts over whether there was a dual purpose for the costs. More...

Contractors enjoy increases in HMRC’s diesel and petrol advisory fuel rates

Contractors using cars to get to and from their client’s sites will be able to claim increased mileage payments for business travel as HMRC increases its diesel and petrol advisory fuel rates. Effective from 1 September 2013, the new rates will allow contractors with petrol cars having engine sizes greater than 1401cc to claim an extra penny per mile. Diesel car owners with an engine sized between 1601-2000cc can also claim an extra penny per mile. All other rates remain the same. More...

Published: 06 September 2013

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