August Contractor News Round Up
Your monthly round-up of August’s top contractor news.
Small and Medium enterprise interest in freelancers is growing.
The appeal of a short-term solution without having to shell out large employment costs. Hiring freelancers is becoming much more cost-effective for the companies.
A report for the second quarter of the years shows that rises in specific industries ranged from 9.2% (logo design) up to a whopping 23% in the accounting sector. This shows that the self-employed are increasingly permanent fixtures in the everyday lives of some businesses.
Contractors are soon to have a say on their benefits and expenses.
A report published by the Office of Tax simplification has identified ‘quick wins’ on how expenses and other tax dispensations can be dealt with. It reports that the P11D form and filling process will be subject to further work as it is known to be widely misunderstood. There will also be a ‘wholesale review’ of the current benefits and expenses.
The chair of the Association of Recruitment consultancies, Adrian Marlow said: “…Simplification of the tax system would probably result in removing the risk for agencies relating to the more extravagant tax avoidance schemes currently on offer. Therefore, this review can only be good for agencies, workers and the recruitment industry in the long run.”
According to a new jobs report, contractor vacancies in Scotland have reached a 31-month high. The decline in contractor availability paired with billings rising at their slowest pace since March of this year points toward an emerging skills crisis in Scotland. This means that there are just not enough suitably skilled contractors to meet demand.
The biggest rise in demand and fall in applicants was seen in Aberdeen and its oil and gas industry, confirming that the industry is booming but the availability of skills is not.
HMRC have created a new scheme designed to help small companies and contractors/freelancers with their tax disputes.
Following a two year trial HMRC have created a national team of trained facilitators to help resolve disputes using the ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution Service’. For a while now the service has helped businesses and individuals in disputes by being the middle man and helping each party understand each other and decide on an agreement.
Richard Summersgill HMRC’s Director of local compliance said: ‘Evidence has shown that by using the simple ADR service many disputes can be significantly shortened and resolved without recourse to Tribunal.’