Contractor News Round-Up: 12th February 2016

Contractor News Round-Up

Below you’ll find our latest round-up of contractor relevant news stories that have surfaced over the past few weeks. We’re starting to see a lot of chatter around HMRC’s new IR35-specific ESI tool, rumoured to be coming into play in the spring. Read on for news on that, as well the other subjects that have caught the eye at Kingsbridge over the last week or two.

HMRC confirms ‘IR35-specific ESI tool’

“Speaking at the December IR35 Forum, HM Revenue & Customs said its aim was to have a beta version of an “IR35 specific ESI tool” by “spring 2016”.

HMRC’s Mark Frampton also told the forum that the hope is for the tool to provide “clearances” on status, much as the Contract Review Service is meant to now, to a “mass” of contractors.”

Contractor prospects impacted by Brexit fears, warns REC’s Green, as skill gaps widen

“Contractor demand continued its long-term growth trend during January 2016, but now may be the time for contractors to secure a longer-term contract before Brexit fears cause uncertainties and a market slow-down over the summer.”

Contractors, accelerate dividends to before April

“Even if a TV entrepreneur does get his way against the new dividend tax, it will still be more financially beneficial for PSC contractors to accelerate a dividend payment to before April 5th 2016, writes Anne Wilson, senior tax manager at Pierce Chartered Accountants.”

Freelancer confidence boosts at the end of 2015

“Everybody can benefit from feeling confident in their particular sector at work. However, for the self-employed this is especially vital. Feeling confident in your industry and the economy in general can boost your business success and make you more likely to take vital risks.”

Politicians and business leaders underline impact of T&S proposals

“A vivid local example of the destructive effects of abolishing tax relief on travel and subsistence for flexible contracting professionals is being spelled out by business leaders and politicians in Cumbria.

Awareness is growing among politicians and business leaders that the abolition could have a deleterious effect on local and national business.”

Contractors’ confidence ‘bounces back’

“A national survey shows contractors’ confidence in both their business performance and the economy recovered to “encouraging” levels in the final quarter of 2015.

The increase, which follows record pessimism in Q3, is in spite of business costs for such contract workers’ rising – 60% now fear for their bottom line, up from almost 50% in July.”

Contractors will benefit from global demand, driven by increasing talent shortfall

“Contractors are set to benefit from global demand growth trends, as the number of international businesses negatively impacted by skills shortages increases.

ManpowerGroup’s 2015 Talent Shortage Survey shows that the number of firms reporting difficulty filling roles has risen to 38%. This marks a 2% increase from 2014 and the highest percentage seen since 2007.”

Taxman preparing ‘SDC’ guidance

“Guidance from HM Revenue & Customs on ‘Supervision, Direction or Control’ is due to be published by the end of next month, ContractorUK has learnt.

So before the close of March, or anytime between two weeks from now and following Budget 2016, the ‘SDC’ guidance will be unveiled so contractors can gauge eligibility to T&S relief.”

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