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IT contractors are in demand more than ever before, with many companies preferring to hire in specialists to work on short-term projects, for specific roles or just to cover absence or busy periods. This is a great time to take the plunge into self-employment, with plenty of opportunities in a wide range of roles, so whatever your skill set, you could find yourself in demand from a variety of employers.

Choosing to go self-employed is an ideal way for many people who want to benefit from the flexibility of choosing their own hours and managing their work-life balance effectively. As an IT contractor, you can focus on areas of the industry that particularly interest you, set your own rates and pick jobs which minimise your commute or offer home-working opportunities. You can leave the office politics behind, be your own boss and choose how to progress in your career rather than having to wait for opportunities to become available with a single employer.

Of course, there is a reason that freelancers are able to command higher rates than employees, and this is because they assume all the risk of being their own boss. This means that you don’t get statutory sick pay,an annual holiday allowance or any of the other perks of a traditionally employed role, so you need to plan your finances in a way that allows you to cover your costs, even if the long term future is uncertain. You may also find our IT Contractor Rates page useful.

As specialist accountants, we understand that contractors are often in need of support and advice on the best way to manage their finances. From ensuring that you are working a tax efficiently as possible, to helping you decide on the best way to organise your business and plan for your future, we can offer the benefit of our experience and expertise to save you time and money.

Although you may well have an idea about the process of self-assessment and paying tax as a sole trader, you may not be aware of the ways in which you could be saving money, minimising your tax bill and planning for the future if you were to trade as a limited company. As experts in representing contractors, self-employed individuals, and those trading as limited companies, Nixon Williams is well-versed in all the money saving opportunities that might be available to you, no matter how you organise your business.

When you are new to contracting, it can seem as though the options are overwhelming. Many people work through umbrella companies who handle all their tax by paying them through PAYE and handling their other admin for them. However, this may not be the most tax efficient way to work, given that as a limited company you could be taking home a much larger percentage of your income simply by rearranging your finances to avoid paying unnecessary tax.

have a burning tax question

As we specialise in helping contractors to maximise their money, we can take a lot of the more time consuming tasks on so that you are freed up to actually earn the money that you want to protect. We can also help you to understand how to balance your salary with company dividends to ensure that you aren’t paying too much tax, plan for the future and manage your expenses as well.

If you are new to contracting then you might find that your time is taken up with finding work, making sure your training is up to date, networking with colleagues and marketing yourself to recruiters. Adding in additional tasks such as planning your pension, working out what you can claim as a business expense and establishing how much National Insurance you will need to pay might not be your first choice of ways to spend your time.

With over 100 pages of guidance from HMRC just on how to work out your expenses, it can seem impossible to keep on top of things, but Nixon Williams’s Premier Accountancy Service can take all the stress out of dealing with HMRC and make sure you never miss a deadline or fail to file important paperwork.

For a monthly fee of £95 plus VAT, we can take you through the whole process of setting up your own company, from registering your business with Companies House to working out the best way to spit your profits between salaries and dividends in order to maximise your tax efficiency. If you have employees, then we can handle your payroll and provide your staff with payslips, deal with the PAYE system to ensure that you are paying tax correctly on your staff’s wages and help you work out whether you want or need to register for VAT.

There are plenty of additional services which you might need as well, including filing paperwork with HMRC, providing references for mortgages or loans, providing bookkeeping services and updating relevant organisations when there are significant changes in the company’s structure. Our Premier Accountancy Service gives you unlimited access to a dedicated accountant who will be happy to answer any questions you may have, provide advice and information on how to grow your company and give you some ideas of how you can plan for the future including paying into a pension.

If you are considering a move towards IT contracting, then don’t be put off by concerns that you will not be able to manage the financial side of running your business. The tax system can be complicated and you may worry that you will have trouble dealing with HMRC, but with a dedicated accountant, you don’t have to worry about missing deadlines, incurring fines or owing money. We will take the stress out of your finances so that you can concentrate on making a success of your business.

For more information on setting up as limited company contractor, you may also find the following pages helpful:

Limited Company GuideIR35 guideExpenses guide

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice on becoming an IT Contractor, please email newbusiness@nixonwilliams.com or call our new client team on 01253 362062.