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HMRC chases more than £7.1bn in avoided tax

24 October 2014

The 2014 Finance Act has only been in force for two months, but HMRC has already recovered more than £25m of an estimated £7.1bn in unpaid tax thanks to accelerated payment notices, it emerged today.  More than 600 notices have been sent out, whilst other taxpayers have been proactive about paying up because they know notices could be on their way. “Accelerated payments are changing th......


Over 50s: the economy needs you

24 October 2014

Over the past eight years, more than a million people over 50 have been forced out of work when they would rather have stayed there, according to a new report by the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME).  This could be costing the economy as much as £88bn.  The race is on to find ways of bringing older people back into the workplace, and that could depend on making it ......


FCSA study to assess umbrella employment sector

23 October 2014

It is widely accepted that the number of self-employed people out there has grown considerably in the last few years, but how many of them are freelancers, contractors or consultants working through umbrella companies?  How many such organisations are there, and how much money to they bring into the economy?  Those are the questions set to ......


Debate over Scottish powers raises new tax questions

23 October 2014

Could giving tax-raising powers to cities boost economic growth?  That’s one of the radical new ideas to come out of discussions on further devolution for Scotland, but what would it mean for freelancers and contractors who often work and live in different places? The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RS......


Contractors are key political constituency, study reveals

22 October 2014

It is not uncommon for freelancers and contractors to feel that nobody in power takes their needs seriously, but that could be about to change.  According to a new study by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), freelancers are much more likely than the average person to vote in the upcoming general election, ......


HMRC slashes staff numbers

22 October 2014

HMRC is set to make substantial cuts in the number of people it employs.  This news has prompted a walkout by some of those facing redundancy, and it has raised concerns among freelancers and contractors already worried by low staffing levels. The move attracted criticism from PCS union leader Mark Serwotka, who said: “It makes absolutely no ......


Warnings for self-assessment taxpayers

21 October 2014

HMRC is getting tougher as it comes under pressure to recover more of the tax owed to it, and experts are warning that this could make things difficult for self-assessment taxpayers.  To stay out of trouble, contractors and freelancers will have to be scrupulous about following the rules, including filing on time. According to HRMC, late filing is a serious problem.  Therefore, th......


IR35 review still developing

21 October 2014

It has been a long time coming, but according to HMRC, the full conclusions of the IR35 review will soon be available.  The IR35 Forum will meet again next month to address outstanding issues that have arisen during its development and to consider how its various recommendations might best be implemented. IR35 rules can be confusing at the be......


HMRC concerned about growing tax gap

20 October 2014

According to HMRC, almost 7 per cent of the taxes it was owed in the financial year 2012-13 never reached it.  Experts say that evasion, avoidance, error and criminality were to blame, and every other taxpayer might ultimately have to pick up the tab. Since 2005-06, the tax gap has been steadily declining for a number of reasons, and this yea......


New pension flexibility could help contractors

20 October 2014

Changes to the pension system could be particularly useful to people whose income varies from year to year.  The announcement last week that over-55s will be able to take multiple lump sums out of their pension pots with 25 per cent of each being tax-free means that contractors will have the option of drawing out money slowly over several years.......


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