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Contractor News

Contractor News

New Figures Show That Temporary IT Contractor Demand Is Up 25%

According to some new findings, the demand for freelancer IT contractors have increased by 25%.

Figures released by show that the pool of temporary IT jobs has soared over the last year and that the number of offers in the fourth quarter of 2011 has risen by a quarter in comparison to the same period a year previously.

The statistics, which involved measuring online IT job adverts, suggest that employers are seeking non-permanent contractors when recruiting for IT and that contract employment has, overall, fared better in 2011 due to the fact that temporary workers in IT rose more than their permanent counterparts.

The survey revealed that financial organisations and software houses were the leaders of the self-employed IT contractor growth as they accounted for 5.1% of the increase in the final three months of last year. 

Further results exposed that the only sector where contractors are worse off and have declined include the public sector; and that there has been an upturn in demand in Inner London.

Sid Barnes, an executive director of Computer People, told CUK that the rise in demand is for the reason that managers are more inclined to hire a freelancer because they are not a fixed cost and are budgeted within project line budgets. Another benefit in the eyes of an employer is that temporary IT contractors have experience in change and project management. 

Need an IT contractor accountant service to help you file all your tax returns properly? Contact the professionals today at Nixon Williams. 

HMRC Confirm That Late Self-Assessment Returns Won’t Incur Penalties

The deadline for self-assessment tax returns is nearing and to date HM Revenue & Customs has stated that any forms filed after 31st January will incur penalties.

However, HMRC have now confirmed that they will not impose any late penalties for self-employed contractors who file their self-assessment returns on 1st and 2nd February. 

The taxman has changed its protocol to make sure customers are not deprived if they cannot get through to the call centres.

Stephen Banyard, Acting Director General Personal Tax, said: “We’ve always been very clear that we want the returns – not the penalties. For that reason, we don’t want anyone who can’t get through for help and advice on 31 January to be disadvantaged in any way.”

According to the website, the deadline still remains at midnight on 31st January but HMRC will treat all returns submitted by midnight on 2nd February the same and no customers will pay interest on payments. 

Take advantage of the deadline extension and get your self-assessment tax return form in on time. There should be no excuses now for you not to get your paperwork in punctually and promptly.  

If you need any help or advice with regards to the procedure, speak to the expert accountant for contractors and get in touch with Nixon Williams today.

AiB Report That The Number Of Scots Going Bust Has Fallen

The number of Scottish insolvencies has dropped, according to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB).

AiB is responsible for administering the process of personal bankruptcy and recording corporate insolvencies in Scotland and official figures released show that the amount of Scots going bust in the third quarter of last year had fallen. 

The findings reveal that 4,664 personal insolvencies were reported in July- September 2011-12 which is 13% down compared with the previous quarter but up 2% from the same period in 2010.

The personal insolvency data includes awards of bankruptcy which is down for a second successive quarter, decreasing 8% between quarter 2 and quarter 3 last year to 2,615. What is more, the number of protected trust deeds is down 19% in contrast to year-on-year. 

However both bankruptcies and total personal insolvencies were higher than the same quarter of the previous year.

The organisation suggests that the decrease in liquidation is a direct result of debt payment programmes approved through the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) because new figures show that more people (3%) are applying to manage and repay their debts. DAS allows people to repay their debt over an extended period of time. 

Fergus Ewing, the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, who has responsibility for personal insolvency and debt management in Scotland, said how encouraging it is to see that bankruptcies have fallen for the second successive quarter.

Are you self-employed and worried about keeping on top of your finances? Look no further than the contractor accountancy firm, Nixon Williams.

Top 10 Weird Taxes

It is important that all Britons handle and file their tax paperwork properly to avoid hefty fines from HM Revenue & Customs.

As taxation issues grow and regulations change, it is vital that self-employed contractors in the UK obtain specialist accounting advice and adhere to the law-abiding guidelines or face penalties and even jail time.

Now as conventional as many taxes are, over the years there have been a number of strange taxes around the world that have been levied by different governments including a tax on playing cards, a tax on soap and tax on windows. Many have been imposed into operation and revoked years later but even to date there are quite a few weird taxes set-up. 

As the UK taxing deadline of 31st January looms, Nixon Williams’ expert accountancy firm can reveal the top 10 bizarre global taxes.

- Hat Tax

In Britain, there used to be a hat tax on all men’s hats from around 1784-1811. Fundamentally, it was a simple way for the British government to raise revenue and it was largely the rich that would own the most number of expensive hats. 

The strange duty required all hat retailers to buy a special licence; display a sign in the store window and every man’s hat had to have a revenue stamp pasted inside on the lining. 

Anyone who failed to pay the hat tax was given a substantial fine and for those who forged the revenue stamps, the death penalty was issued. Hat’s off to the genius who invented this little scheme!

- Soul Tax

It is reported that all males (except the clergy and nobles) in Russia in the early 18th century were ordered to pay a tax on their souls by its emperor, Peter the Great. For citizens who were anti-religious, they still had to pay a tax for being a religious rebel. 

- Beard Tax

In England 1535, King Henry VIII introduced a tax on all men who had beards, despite the fact he had a beard himself. 

The tax cost varied with the wearer’s social position but was reintroduced by his daughter Elizabeth I years later to tax every beard of more than two weeks growth. 

It wasn’t only Britain that imposed the law however; in Russia the tax also appeared to encourage people to shave. Hairy or what!

- Blueberry Tax

The state Maine, in America has an official berry which is the wild blueberry and it produces 99% of the wild blueberries in the whole of the United States. 

The state is so fond of its cultivation industry that it has in fact levied a Blueberry Tax against anyone who grows, sells, buys, or handles the plant.

- Cooking Oil Tax

Just as many other governments have introduced laws to generate income, the Pharaohs of Egypt levied taxes on food produce to fund many of the country’s large projects at the time. One of their strange laws involved the taxation of cooking oil. 

The tax collectors, otherwise known as scribes, would audit households by ensuring appropriate amounts of cooking oil were being consumed to check that no one was avoiding it. 

- Pet Tax

In North Carolina, America, a Pet Tax was introduced in 2009 and is still in operation to present day. It orders all residents to list their pets as personal property so that tax can be collected on each animal. 

However, the duty only applies to owners of cats and dogs over four months old. Barking mad!

- Window Tax

The most well-known tax in Britain was the window tax which was implemented in 1696. The House and Window Duties Act were passed by Parliament which meant that every house in England and Scotland was ordered to pay tax on each window. 

The more windows one had, the higher the tax was, although homes with less than five windows in Scotland weren’t taxed. As a result of the levy, many Britons bricked up their windows to avoid the cost. 

- Bagel Tax

In New York, America, a bagel tax is still in operation. It means that consumers who buy a bagel and eat it in the shop are liable for a taxable transaction because it is prepared, sliced and served on the premises. If however, one takes it home the strict enforced rule does not apply.  

- Salt Tax

There have been numerous salt taxes around the world. The ‘gabelle’ was a hated French salt tax which was collected from 1286-1790. Over time, it became one of the most unpopular, unequal taxes in the country and even caused wars. 

However, this was greatly increased when the British East India Company began its own Salt Tax rule in provinces in India. The stringent salt taxes were condemned by Indian public and over time protects occurred but it remained in effect and was only repealed in 1946. Talk about rubbing salt into the wound…

- Flush Tax

In Maryland, America, there is a Flush tax where homeowners are charged a fee for flushing their toilets. 

The duty, which fundamentally charges people for producing waste water, came into effect in 2005 but still carries on to date. 

All pictures are courtesy of Newsteam. 

Government Reveals Where Your Hard Earned Tax Is Being Spent

It is reported that last year many people across the UK paid more income tax, national insurance and VAT than ever before.

Now with the help of our Take Home Pay Calculator, you can work out exactly how much tax you are paying and what wage you will be taking home at the end of the month. 

But where is your hard-earned cash actually going?

The British Government has revealed the full breakdown of how it is spending your money with the latest public expenditure figures it had released. The findings are based on an annual salary of £50,000; so how much of your money is going towards education and how much is being spent on overseas aid?

The statement on the tax year 2010/2011 showed that in total £14,739 is spent but the breakdown includes;

- Benefits & Pensions £5,130
- National Health Service £2,666
- Education £2,006
- Public Protection £1,551
- Government £543
- Transport £507
- Industry & Economy £348
- Housing £303
- Recreation, Sport & Culture £306
- Waste & Environment £256
- Overseas Aid £144
- Debt Interest £978

Upon looking at the individual categories in more depth, the statement showed that within Benefits & Pensions, the majority of spends went towards Pensions including public sector pensions; and within Education, the main recipient was Schools.

With regards to Public Protection, Defence was the largest benefactor; and out of the £543 spent on Government, £475 went towards Executive, parliaments and council administration. 

In reference to Transport, the monies were split quite evenly; whereas in Industry & Economy the biggest proportion was consumer on Research and development.

The most amount of money in Housing in 2010/2011 was exhausted on Social Housing and on Sport, parks and beaches in Recreation, Sport and Culture. And of the £256 disbursed on Waste & Environment, £159 was used up on Waste disposal.    

So now you know where your tax is being spent, make sure that you file and return all your paperwork properly with the help of an expert accounting company.

Top Tips To Going Solo

Many Britons are embracing the New Year to start afresh and there is no better time than now to go solo and start working for yourself.

If you have dreamed about becoming a self-employed contractor but never had the courage to go ahead and do it, take advantage of 2012 and make your aspirations come true.

It can be a very scary prospect having your own business let alone setting it up and running it, as well as dealing with all the tax paperwork as a contractor. 

But Nixon Williams’ freelancer accountancy can help by easing you of the strain and handling all the numbers, so let the New Year be the year that your ambitions become a reality.

Here are some top tips to turning your work around and developing into a self-employed business person.  

- Preparation

It is far better to be safe than sorry, so before you take a leap of faith, predict your earnings with our Contractor Take Home Pay Calculator. Leaving a full-time job to become self-employed should be an exciting prospect but everyone needs financial security, so try to predict your finances beforehand with a professional accounting company. 

- Be organised

By being methodical from the very beginning and getting all your books in order from day one, you can start as you mean to go on. A cluttered lifestyle is a messy mind, so keep everything structured and hire a contractor accountant. You wouldn’t want to be receiving a fine when you have just started out because you haven’t filed your tax return properly!

HMRC Helpline Will Cost Taxpayer £4 Million

HM Revenue & Customs has vowed to improve its service levels at its contact centres with helpline.

The taxman will be implementing a year-long trial using private contractors and it will cost the taxpayer millions of pounds.

A spokesperson from HMRC has said that the new scheme will not involve any outsourcing or losing of jobs and that it will take place in two centres in Bathgate in Scotland, and Lilyhall in Cumbria. 

David Gauke, Treasury Minister, said that the estimated total cost to the public purse strings over the next 12 months will be around £4 million. 

The UK Government called on HMRC last financial year for the long waiting times on calls. The response to Britain’s telephone calls was dubbed “patchy at best and unacceptable at worst” and it was revealed that fewer than half of taxpayers actually got through to the department on the first attempt. 

The Public and Commercial Services Trade Union (PCS) has argued against the move stating that at a time when tens of thousands of public sector jobs are being cut, “it is entirely wrong to start handing out contracts to private companies.”

PCS state that instead of privatising the public services, the government should be investing in civil service staff to equip and train them with the essential services.

If you need some freelancer accountancy help, rest assured Nixon Williams are on-hand to answer your call the very first time. And our live support online chat feature means that you can chat to an expert at any time, wherever is best for you. 

Daily Mirror Investigation: British Restaurants Hire Foreign Self-Employed Chefs To Dodge Tax Rules

Findings in a new investigation by The Daily Mirror show that top restaurants in the UK are hiring chefs from abroad on self-employed contracts to avoid paying national insurance. 

Journalists Penman & Sommerlad have revealed that posh chains such as Loch Fyne are hiring chefs from Romania and Bulgaria because they can only work in the country on a contractor basis and therefore the firms can dodge forking out holiday pay or sick pay.

The reporters went undercover and applied for a job at Loch Fyne after seeing an advert on a Romanian recruitment firm website. They were told they could earn up to £2000 a month by working 12 hours a day, for four days a week. 

As part of the inquiry, they report that they were going to be legally hired on a self-employment basis but were ordered to say that they were area contractors rather than employees. They were told not to quibble with the working conditions “except when exhausted”, they couldn’t decide on the working hours or on which days to work. 

The fundamental concept of being self-employed is the flexibility of working hours and conditions.

Managing director Liz Williams of Loch Fyne rebutted the findings, saying: “These unapproved advertisements have now been removed.” 

The Daily Mirror is running the ‘Gizza Proper Job’ campaign which calls for more rights for self-employed people who are treated as staff.

However, there is also the AWR (Agency Workers Regulations) 2010 legislation which came into force on 1st October 2011 which gives all agency workers in Great Britain the entitlement to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly. 

The regulation aims to improve the pay and working conditions of temporary workers and the law applies to if and when agency workers complete a qualifying period of 12 weeks in the same job which means they will receive the same salary, holidays and other benefits as permanent staff.

As a leading accounting company, Nixon Williams can offer help and advice to all contractors on the latest laws and regulations.

Celebrities Incur Tax Problems

There are a plethora of celebrities who get into trouble for not taking care of their taxes appropriately.

Lindsay Lohan is the latest well-known star who has received a notice from the IRS, the U.S. government agency responsible for tax collection and tax law enforcement, as she reportedly owes almost $94,000 in unpaid income taxes from 2009.

These kinds of celebs earn millions of pounds from acting, singing and promotional work, so why are they unable to file their taxes properly? What they need is an expert accountant firm like Nixon Williams that can do all the hard work for them.

The troubled actress, who has featured in films such as ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘The Parent Trap’, is not the only figure who has made headlines for avoiding their taxes. Even her dad, Michael Lohan, allegedly owed the government $12,000 in unpaid taxes in 2010.

Other famous tax cheats include;

- Pamela Anderson In 2009 the IRS filed a $1,700,173 lien against her

- J.C. Chasez (former band member of N Sync) reportedly owed $206,965 in back taxes

- Wesley Snipes The star of martial arts action hit the Blade Trilogy was sentenced to three years in jail for refusing to pay over $17 million in taxes.

Here at Nixon Williams, we understand that in the showbiz world it can be difficult to track every income and keep on top of your finances. But because they have greater earnings, there is a greater risk of fines and punishment if they do not adhere to laws and guidelines. So speak to a professional freelancer accountant today. 

Study Shows That Self-Employment Is On The Rise

According to research by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), many people are turning to self-employment. 

Findings by CIPD, Europe's largest HR and development professional body, show that self-employment is on the rise and that a record 4.14 million people in the UK work for themselves as contractors rather than for an employer.

The recent study revealed that around 25% of the UK’s self-employed workforce is in the construction sector and further industry sectors which have a large proportion of contractors include education, public administration, and finance.

And the organisation suggests that many more Brits will become self-employed in years to come.

Dr John Philpott, chief economic advisor at CIPD, said: “While some of these newly self-employed may make a long-term commitment to being their own boss, or at least gain the necessary experience to do so, it's likely that most would take a job with an employer if only they could find one.”

The survey results come as the Office for National Statistics report that UK unemployment figures increase to 2.685 million and that in the three months to November in 2011, the unemployment rate rose by 118,000; the highest since January 1996.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in December rose by 1,200 to 1.6 million.

Are you self-employed? Nixon Williams are expert accountants for contractors so if you need help with all your taxing, get in touch today. 

NHS Source Reveals That NHS Locum Doctors Are Staying As Temps To Make More Money

A locum doctor is a person who covers medics who are off work due to being ill or on annual leave and it has been claimed that locum doctors are ‘better off not going full-time’.

A recent report by Audit Scotland revealed that the bill for NHS locum doctors had doubled in a decade to almost £50 million a year.

Experts in the industry have called for the costs to be brought down, especially during such difficult economic times when government spends have been cut.

However, NHS sources say that efforts to reduce the stand-in bills will be hindered because locum workers in Scotland are turning down permanent roles because they can make more money staying as temps.

Locum personnel have the status as a limited company rather than being registered as self-employed individuals and therefore they can earn up to three times what they would do as full-time NHS employee.

A senior medic who wished to remain anonymous told the Scotsman that the bill for locum staff had increased substantially over the years but that locum colleagues are quite open and honest in saying they make themselves limited companies and take advantage of the different tax status. 

By remaining at the limited company level, locums can find it easier to claim back expenses against tax, “earn shed loads of cash” and ultimately it is a “lucrative situation for them.” Reports claim that locums can earn up to £100 an hour in some cases depending on their grade, speciality and whether they work through an agency.

However, a spokesperson from the Locum Doctors Association said members decide to take on temp work because it is flexible enough to cater to person commitments such as children. 

In 2010, Audit Scotland said hospitals could save £6 million a year if they used locum doctors more efficiently.

It is quite complex to set yourself up as a limited company, as well as registering as self-employed and handling all the tax paperwork. If it is not done properly, the penalties could be crippling. 

Nixon Williams are specialists accountants and provide a range of services appertaining to locum accountancy. Check out our contractor take home pay calculator to work out your finances.

Temporary Worker and Contractor Growth Reported In Scotland

A new survey has revealed that there has been a growth in the number of temporary vacancies in Scotland. 

According to the Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs, there has been a slight rise in contractor jobs to the north of the border, even though it is at its slowest pace for 14-22 months respectively. 

The marginal improvement in the Scottish jobs market is still deemed positive, especially for the contracting sector as they may be required to complete projects.

The study suggested that the fall in permanent placements was linked to the weaker growth of demand for staff. 

Labour market conditions across the whole of the UK deteriorated in December and the Bank of Scotland’s chief economist Donald Macae says that the latest results reflect the negative effects of the slowdown in the Scottish economy. He says that it is “struggling to maintain growth momentum in the face of the global slowdown.”

The number of permanent staff vacancies only increased in Edinburgh, and only Aberdeen-based recruitment agencies recorded higher temp staff billings.
Further findings showed that temporary and contractor posts grew in all industry sectors bar clerical and secretarial. 

Nixon Williams is a leading accountancy practice serving freelance contractors and consultants as well as accountants for interim managers throughout the UK. 

Whether you are live in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England, we can help you with everything from your self-assessment tax return form, to advice about IR35. So regardless of where you are based get in touch today.

The Agency Workers Regulations has Little Effect on Contractor Demand

According to a new study, employers are still using the services of temporary staff and contractors despite the Agency Workers Regulations coming into force.

Findings in the latest JobsOutlook study by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation reveal that 81% of employers are planning to grow or keep their workforce at existing levels. But almost a third (31%) of those surveyed said that they are planning on increasing their temporary workforce and make use of temps and contractors.

The strong demand for temporary workers and contractors is great news given the fact that in December the first effects of the AWR were felt. The regulation came into force on 1st October but the first 12 week qualifying period ended on 24th December, the day before Christmas Day, so many contractors were eligible to receive additional benefits and equal treatment in respect of pay and basic working conditions.

Many contractor industry experts predicted that the new law would see a reduction in temporary workers being employed however recent studies have proved these forecasts incorrect, especially given the fact that only recently we reported a rise in the number of IT and engineering contractors.

The December release also showed that 52% of employers made changes in order to implement the AWR including staff training. It found that 39% of employers said they did not need to make any specific changes.

The number of employers planning to make less use of temporary staff due to the AWR was 7% down from October, which perhaps shows that the impact of the regulation will be minimal.

For further guidance on the Agency Workers Regulation, use the expert accountancy services at Nixon Williams.

IT Contractor 2011 Survey Reveals Struggling Economy Had Little Impact On Industry

More than seven out of 10 IT contractors surveyed said they have been unscathed by the country’s “stumbling recovery”, according to an annual poll by Contractor UK.

Findings by CUK show that 45% of contractors have been unaffected by the fragile economy in 2011 and have barely been out of contract. 

Of the 28% of self-employed people who admitted that they saw some impact, even still they were still engaged for 75% of the four quarters.

The survey was undertaken by the company to establish how the market had altered over the 12 months and the results revealed that the biggest hindrance to contracting was lack of contracts or lack of lucrative contracts.

A fifth of the freelance respondents said that the dearth of IT work, or well-paid work was regarded as a bigger obstacle than the economy and slow recovery.

What is more, the poll found that cutbacks to projects are the third most common barrier to contractors, especially in the public sector ahead of “take it or leave it pay cuts.”

A Contractor UK spokesman said: “The fear of a double-dip [recession]; budget cutbacks…even the Eurozone crisis, are chief among the reasons IT contractors felt hindered [in 2011].

“A lack of both contracts and well-paid contracts is the main factor however, with rate deductions not helping. These issues look set to play out further in 2012, so it could be a tough time ahead, and not just for the economy.”

The study discoveries follows the announcement that the National Building Society is cutting pay for its IT contractors by 10% from January 2012; and HSBC similarly in mid –December handed its IT contractors ‘take it or leave’ pay cuts.

Nixon Williams specialise in being an IT contractor accountant, so if you need help managing all the books get in touch today. 

Tax Rebate Email Scams: Be Warned

HM Revenue & Customs is alerting all self-employed Brits to be cautious of some recent tax rebate email scams that have been circulating the net. 

HMRC has issued a warning to all UK taxpayers not to fall victim to the ‘phishing’ emails which have been sent by fraudsters.

Nixon Williams contractor accountants recently reported about the run up to the self-assessment tax return deadline of 31st January and it seems that imposters are hoping to cash in by conning people to hand over their credit card and bank details.

The fake email tells the recipient that they are due a tax rebate and it sends them to a cloned HMRC website in which the criminals then try to take money from the victim’s accounts using the details provided.

HMRC claim that they have shut down 185 websites in the last three months alone that were responsible for sending out fake tax rebate emails. Scam networks have previously been shut down in Austria, Mexico, UK, USA, South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

Joan Wood, Director of HMRC Online and Digital, said: “HMRC will do everything possible to ensure those people receiving this email know what steps to take to protect their information, and we are working closely with other law enforcement agencies to target the criminals behind this serious crime and see them brought to justice.”

Don’t be at risk of having your money stolen or your personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs. Please ignore all ‘dodgy’ emails that do not appear authentic and do not click on the links within the email, the website or open any attachments. 

If you are really unsure as to whether an email is real or genuine, let the accountant experts at Nixon Williams have a look. 

Top tips to avoid being duped are that HMRC only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing in post and they do not use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances.

For further advice and guidance about tax, speak to the professional accountants for Interim Managers, freelancer contractors and consultants. 

FPB Slams HMRC For Harassing Small Businesses

The HM Revenue & Customs has come under fire from the Forum of Private Business (FPB) for targeting thousands of small business in the UK with spot checks on their paperwork. 

The tax office has been accused of ‘”harassment and mistreatment” after officials announced that it is planning this April to crack down on poor record keeping of 20,000 small businesses- despite letting big organisations off millions of pounds of tax.

HMRC will inspect thousands of small firms to see if they have adequate proof of expenses and income dating back years. 

But the FPB, who provide comprehensive business support, protection and reassurance to small to medium-sized businesses across the UK, say that small businesses are facing a rising tide of red tape as large companies get away with billions in unpaid taxes and the body is warning contractors and small firms to prepare for paperwork clampdown and to pay bills on time or face large fines.

The non-for-profit organisation has slammed the tax man and written to David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, to complain.  FPB’s ‘Cost of Compliance’ referendum survey, which was carried out in July 2011, showed that tax administration is now the main regulatory burden for small business owners, leaving them with a bill of £5.1 billion per year.

Phil Orford, the Forum's Chief Executive, said: “Small businesses want to keep proper records but struggle with the significant administrative barriers that exist in the UK. They also want to pay their tax bills on time but the reality is that many firms are struggling with cash flow in extremely tough economic conditions - 
yet HMRC is being completely inflexible.”

He added: “Entrepreneurs are crying out for a better tax regime that supports their ambitions and is conducive to growth, not one that provides constant hurdles to overcome and punishes them disproportionately.” 

Firms are expected to keep records going back at least six years and information includes receipts, invoices, bank statements and cheque stubs. 

Nixon Williams’ outstanding freelancer accountancy service can take care of all this paperwork for you to ease the strain and pressure. 

HMRC Remind Contractors Of Self-Assessment Tax Returns

HM Revenue and Customs has issued a reminder to all self-employed contractors who haven’t yet submitted their self-assessment tax returns for 2010/11.

The taxman reported that around 1,100 taxpayers sent in their self-assessment tax returns online on Christmas Day but all tax returns must be filed by the 31st January 2012, so if you haven’t already it is important to act now!

If you still haven’t submitted your 2010/11 return, please note that you must send it online and that is needs to be done so by the deadline. If HMRC receives a return after this date, it will issue a £100 penalty even if you have no tax to pay or you pay your tax on time. 

It is imperative that you act now because it can take up to seven working days to register but if you don’t have the time or know-how about the site, let Nixon Williams help. As an expert online contractor accountant firm, we will endeavour to complete your tax return by the deadline. 

Stephen Banyard, a spokesperson from HMRC, said: “Missing the 31 January deadline will mean that Self Assessment taxpayers will face penalties. And we don’t want them to – we want the tax returns, not the penalties. We want people to file online and on-time, and avoid facing a completely avoidable penalty.”

So avoid any fees and let Nixon Williams accounting company help by doing all the hard work for you and contact us today!

Guide To New Tax Codes For 2012-13

According to Directgov, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be sending out new tax codes for 2012-13 during the next three months. 

During January, February and March the taxman himself will be sending out new codes for the new tax year but what does it mean?

Nixon Williams, the leading contractor accountants, can further assist self-employed contractors in understanding their tax code and Coding Notice.

The PAYE Coding Notice will tell all workers what their new tax code will be for 2012-13 and this will be used by an employer or pension provider from April onwards to make sure that you are paying the right amount of tax.

Directgov reports that not everyone will actually receive a Coding Notice but this doesn’t affect anything as an employer or pension provider can still update the tax code from 6th April. HMRC will send the new code to your employer themselves so you don’t need to worry!

However, if you employ an accounting company such as ourselves who act on your behalf, we will not receive a copy of your new tax code so you need to come and tell us. 

Government’s £200 Million Scheme Tackles Social and Economic Issues in Troubled Families

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a new £200 million scheme to help England’s most ‘troubled families’. 

The Government outreach service has been created to tackle and assist Britons with problems to overcome barriers to employment. 

Chris Grayling, Minister for Employment, said: “This is our second big payment by results project and demonstrates clearly that there is a real commitment out there to deliver social change and to help people do much better with their lives.”

Local authorities and specialist welfare-to-work firms in the public, private and voluntary sector have been appointed to help Brits get work and remain in employment. 

The work plan, which is targeting 120,000 ‘problem families’ in the country, aims to offer support for a range of issues including social and economic issues of debt management, money management and how to look for work. 

The millions of pounds of funding have been allocated to the UK from the European Social Fund. The specialist providers will also offer advice as part of the scheme on issues like family finances, CV writing, timekeeping, support for parenting, and health and housing issues. 

Nixon Williams can help too; as leading accountants for contractors we provide the best service available in the contractor market and as professionals, we only deliver first class service to all clients. 

So if you are self-employed and need help with your tax returns, get in touch today for complete accountancy services and packages that are extremely good value for money.

Premier League Footballers Being Investigated Over Secret Perks

Premier league footballers and their clubs are reportedly being investigated by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over claims that they enjoy ‘secret perks’. 

According to Mail Online, the taxman is probing financial directors at the UK’s richest football clubs to establish the extent of benefits and luxury gifts lavished on players and their families. 

Questionnaires dubbed “The Football Clubs Employment Issues Questionnaire” have been sent by HMRC’s High Net Worth Unit to 24 various clubs in Britain regarding information on perks that are handed out such as free homes, holidays, company cars and entertainment on individuals worth more than £20 million. 

The Mail on Sunday suggests that records will be scrutinised to ensure no player has got away without paying enough tax and that if the discoveries are unsatisfactory, a full-scale investigation will follow. 

Information provided by the clubs will be cross-referenced against stars’ individual tax returns to assess whether players could be liable for any unpaid tax. Clubs are also liable for National Insurance contributions on any expense or benefit given to employees.

The newspaper quotes an HMRC source saying: “We are not talking about a few low-cost gifts. These people are multi-millionaires.

“We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think it was going to bring in a lot of money. It doesn't matter where you come from. If you work in the UK you are liable to pay tax on your UK earnings.”

A spokesman for HMRC refused to comment on any individual cases or which clubs had been targeted but said it was being compiled to establish how clubs officially account for the benefits received by stars.

The HMRC added: “In these difficult times we are determined to make sure the well-off pay their way.”

Stay on top of your finances with the professional accountancy services from Nixon Williams. 

How Important Is Public Liability Insurance?

Here at Nixon Williams, we are able to assist you with the provision of insurance cover for your business and Public Liability Insurance is fundamental.

Public Liability insurance covers all self-employed contractors for any liability or death to third parties and damage to third parties property as a result of negligence by you or your employees. 

The insurance policy is extremely important, especially as legal cases can result in thousands of pounds worth of damages. 

This is evident from a recent hearing in which a horsewoman from Wales received almost 40k after winning a negligence case. 


Ceri Tonkinson won £37,000 in damages after being thrown from her animal at Downside Riding School in Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

The riding school has been found guilty for the careless riding of their employee, horseman Stephen Davies, who caused Tonkinson’s horse to rear up and cause her to sustain back injuries back in July 2007.

It is reported that the horsewoman had asked Mr Davies to wait to overtake whilst she settled her horse because it was only recently broken-in but he proceeded to overtake anyway, resulting in the animal becoming scared, rising up and throwing her to the floor.

As a result of the incident, Ms Tonkinson will now suffer lasting effects of breaking her back and pelvis which has ended her competitive riding career; and the horse fanatic can no longer ride for long periods of time. 

Ms Tonkinson stated: “This was nothing to do with claiming damages. My friends and I had witnessed and experienced inconsiderate and, in my opinion, dangerous riding by riders from that riding school, and particularly Mr Davies.”

The solicitor Hywel Davies said that horse riders and they’re employers need to understand that they will be ordered to pay damages if guilt of inconsiderate and negligent behaviour. 


As a contractor, it is vital that you protect yourself by following all health and safety codes and laws but it pays to be safe than sorry; so ensure that you are covered and take out insurance with the experts at freelancer accountancy.