Contractor news round-up: October 2021
October’s always a strange month. With Halloween and half term it goes by with the knowledge that once it’s over we’re on the countdown to Christmas and the end of the year. That being said, this October is a lot better than the last one – which saw parts of the country in Tier 3 restrictions, swiftly followed by a second national lockdown in England. So at least this October is an improvement on that.
And that’s perhaps been reflected in our contractor news round-up, which is a lot more cheerful than this time last year, even after an Autumn Budget, just in time for Halloween, which turned out to not be as scary as many of us feared.
What does the Budget mean for contractors?
The 27th October saw Chancellor Rishi Sunak deliver his Autumn Budget for 2021. It was much more positive than the previous two budgets (March 2020 and March 2021 respectively) and focused less on pandemic recovery and more on getting back to normal and building back better, to use the government’s slogan.
Most notably for contractors, there was no mention of IR35. This is perhaps unsurprising since the Finance Bill sub-committee is currently calling for evidence on how the new off-payroll rules are working in practice in the private sector. Whether or not this will trigger a review of the legislation… Only time will tell.
In more upbeat news from the Budget, the OBR has forecast that the UK economy will be back at its pre-COVID level at the start of 2022, which is two months earlier than previously thought. Sunak also announced increased spending and investment in growth which will be welcome news to many.
What’s happening with IR35?
Well, there’s nothing new happening with IR35, as the lack of mention in the Budget will attest. However, that doesn’t mean contractors haven’t been asking questions on the topic. Kingsbridge’s Head of Tax, Andy Vessey, has been continuing to answer your questions over on our blog in his monthly Ask Andy column. This month, he’s been answering questions on when IR35 does and doesn’t apply, and what you can do if you and your client don’t agree on your IR35 status.
If you’re still not sure what the different IR35 statuses – being inside or outside IR35 – mean, you’re not alone. Put very simply, being inside IR35 means the rules do apply while being outside IR35 means that they don’t. However, the inner workings are quite a bit more complex than this, so we’ve written a guide on what it means to be considered outside IR35. You can read it over on our blog.
Since insurance is our bread and butter, we’ve written a guide on the cover that often gets the most queries from contractors: employers’ liability. “I don’t employ anyone so why on earth am I paying for this?” is a question we get asked a lot but there is a really good answer and, even better, it can help a bit with your IR35 status. So, if you’re not sure why you have or need employers’ liability insurance, check out our guide.
Other bits and pieces for contractors
We’ve also been snooping around for the best refer-a-friend deals on the market at the moment. Whether you’re looking to join a service and are hoping a friend can help you get some money off, or are a member of a service and would like to recommend a friend so you can claim a reward, there are some fab deals out there right now. We’ve rounded up the best ones covering everything from broadband to bouquets so you can snap up a bargain for you and a mate.
That’s us done for October, but we’ll be back with a bang in November. In the meantime, you can get in touch with our friendly team should you need to discuss contractor insurance. We can promise no tricks and plenty of treats.