Orange Genie News

For the past three weeks, I’ve been dealing with a growing number of requests from recruitment agencies, asking for us to evidence that we comply with the requirements set out in the recent changes to legislation concerning offshore and onshore intermediaries.

The risks involved, should your business fall foul of these rules, have been widely documented already so engaging the services of a trusted partner is critical to your business.

Has your accountant failed to file your Self-Assessment return on time?

Were you given little or no notice of the amount of tax you owed on 31 January?

Do you feel your tax bill was too high and that your accountant should have given better tax planning advice?

If you area freelance contractor and you missed Friday’s filing deadline for your Self-Assessment return, it’s not too late to limit the damage. Any late return will now automatically attract a late filing penalty of £100, irrespective of the tax due but there is no reason for your penalties to increase.

Two thirds of investigations yielded a result for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

HMRC conducted 5 times as many investigations into those it suspects of abusing the IR35 rules on tax and national insurance for contractors this year compared to last. There were 256 cases in 2012/13, compared to just 59 investigations into IR35 in the previous year. 
 
The IR35 rules were introduced by HMRC to target those falsely registering as self-employed for tax purposes. 
 

HMRC have revealed the ‘top ten oddest excuses’ for late tax returns. Among the reasons people have given for sending in their returns late include a self-employed builder who blamed the death of a goldfish and a woman who blamed a volcanic eruption.

The list is as follows:

1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder);
2. I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer);
3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman);
4. My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader);

Over recent years Freelancers and Contractors have grown in numbers and now represent a substantial element of the labour market. Many contractors choose to enter the labour market through their own Personal Service company and as such they are able to structure their rewards in a way that is most suited to their circumstances. Traditionally many contractors choose to withdraw funds through a combination of salary and dividends – this is often a concept not understood by high street lenders and is sometimes cited as a barrier to choosing the contracting route.

A lifestyle decision to enter a contracting career and legitimate tax planning should not detract from a contractors ability to obtain a competitive mortgage. Orange Genie Accountancy work closely with Contractor Financials who specialise in providing mortgage advice to contractors

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