Kingsbridge Autumn Statement 2015 Reaction

Autumn Statement 2015

IR35

Despite numerous rumours to the contrary over the past few weeks, professional contractors broadly came out of the 2015 Autumn Statement unscathed (for now at least). Recent reports from HM Treasury had suggested that contractors would no longer be able to work for a single client for an uncapped period and would have to move onto the payroll after one month, but no mention was made of this in the Chancellor’s speech or in the ‘blue book’ released immediately afterwards.

It seems likely that any proposals for changes to IR35 legislation will be pushed back to April 2017. A press release from APSCo, circulated shortly after the conclusion of the Autumn Statement, stated: “It appears that, following the overwhelming negative response from business as a whole and a rigorous press and lobbying campaign by APSCo, the Government has chosen to think more carefully about the unintended consequences of the proposals.”

Samantha Hurley, Head of External Relations and Compliance at APSCo, followed up by saying:

“Of course, the lack of an announcement in the Autumn Statement doesn’t mean that the Government won’t go forward with this proposal in the future, but it does almost certainly mean that it won’t come into effect in April, 2016, which is what we feared.”

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Autumn Statement 2015 Preview

George-Osborne

Wednesday 25th November will be a big day for the contracting community. George Osborne will be delivering the first purely Conservative Autumn Statement. Following on from a summer Budget which wasn’t exactly contractor friendly, it’s heavily rumoured that the Chancellor will be addressing the contentious issue of IR35 – either offering a proposal for further reform, or at very least the introduction of further consultation. Of course, despite all the speculation, what will actually be said currently remains unknown.

It seems as though changes will be announced that will see PSC contractors no longer being able to work for a single client for an uncapped amount of time. Although earlier rumours suggested that contractors would be obliged to move onto the payroll of their client after one month of work, it now seems that will not be the case as long as they pass a new version of the ESI test. However, who must decide whether or not the contractor is inside IR35 (i.e. which contractual party will stop proceedings as early as four weeks in) remains unclear.

Join us from 9am on Wednesday 25th as we live Tweet the Autumn Statement, followed by our reaction later in the day and an in depth look at exactly what kind of impact the current Conservative government has had on the contracting community.

Everything You Need To Know About Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance

A little while ago we wrote about Professional Indemnity insurance – what it is, why you need it, and what a claim against you might look like. Today we’re presenting the second installment of the series and discussing Public Liability Insurance.

What is it?

This one is simple to explain, and a necessary part of any insurance package. Public liability insurance will cover you and your business for any inconvenience you may cause a customer or client. If damage is caused or goods are lost while work is being carried out then you’ll be covered.

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Why Do Contractors Need Insurance?

Oil and Gas Contractor

One of the most common questions we get asked at Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance is ‘Why do I need insurance?’ Let us explain.

No matter your industry, if you work as an independent contractor you’re providing your client with your services or your professional advice. If, during the course of your work, you make a mistake or an error that has an effect on your client or their business then they are well within their rights to make a claim against you. Because of this you’ll need to have the relevant insurances.  Having the right insurance in place when a costly claim is made can be the difference between keeping you in business and having to shut your business down, something that could have a negative impact if you want to work as a contractor again in the future.

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What the Frack? The Story of Fracking in the UK

Fracking Infographic

As you’ve seen on the blog in the past few weeks, we’ve been revisiting some of our favourite posts from the past year that you may have missed. We’ll be beginning original programming again shortly, but this week we wanted to draw your attention to one of our favourite infographics – the story of fracking in the UK.

There has been a slow-burning but very real concern rising in the UK due to the impending energy crisis. The threat of power cuts has been highlighted due to falling electricity margins, along with the need for the UK to pursue more renewable energy strategies. This has led to much ink being spilled in the British press on the issue of hydraulic fracturing – commonly known as fracking.

Fracking is the process of harvesting shale gas, deposits of which are found trapped in shale rock deep underground. A high pressure mix of water and chemicals is shot down specially drilled wells with the aim of releasing the gas.

There have been a great number of discussions about the safety of fracking; with some saying it poses a threat to the purity of drinking water, while others highlight fracking as the only real, actionable solution to Britain’s fuel shortage. Whatever the case, it’s fair to say that fracking has divided the opinion of the British public and is set to dominate the discussion around energy production for a significant amount of time.

We have decided to take a look at the story of fracking, and the pros and cons it offers the British energy industry by producing a scrolling infographic, taking in the past, present and future of fracking in the UK.

http://www.kingsbridge.co.uk/infographics/fracking/

Should I get my contract reviewed for IR35 compliance?

IR35 For Contractors

We’re taking another look at IR35 on the Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance blog today. This week – should you get your contract reviewed for IR35 compliance?

IR35 is the legislation on everyone’s lips and it’s a subject that we have covered a number of times.  Since its passing into law in 2000, it’s been a priority for freelancers and contractors to make sure they don’t get caught in the IR35 net.

Some professional organisations now offer independent reviews of your contracts that check for IR35 compliance, giving you the peace of mind from the outset that you are not at risk of being caught out. This week, we’re going to investigate if these contract reviews are really worth it for independent professionals today.

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Tax and the Modern Contractor

Contractor Tax

We’re taking another dip into the Kingsbridge archives this week as we continue to highlight some of our previous posts you may have missed. Today, we’re taking another look at tax and what the modern contractor needs to consider.

You’ve established yourself as a contractor; you’ve networked, you’re looked for jobs, and you’ve completed your first contract with a new client. Now it’s time for the best bit – receiving your first cheque.

Don’t get too attached to that number, though. You need to make sure you factor in the tax you owe, now that your tax isn’t being collected on a pay-as-you-earn basis. When you’re starting out as a contractor, it’s really important that you get your head around the realities of your tax situation in order to ensure that you don’t incur the penalties associated with paying the wrong amount of tax.

Read on to find out the kind of things that are worth considering when it comes to tax and the modern contractor.

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A Contractor’s Guide to IR35 Legislation

IR35 Legislation

At Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance, sometimes we like to revisit blog posts we’ve done in the past. It might be that you didn’t see the post first time around, or that you’ve only recently taken out an insurance policy with us. For this post we’re going back to October 2014, to take another look at our Contractor’s Guide to IR35 Legislation.

The Intermediaries Legislation, or IR35 as it is more commonly known, has been a topic of conversation for many in the world of contracting. With HMRC this year promising to reduce IR35 case investigation time, this key piece of legislation is now a topic that no contractor can afford to ignore.

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What Are The Benefits Of Holding Insurance?

Benefits Of Contractor Insurance

Our comprehensive insurance policy package includes professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurancepersonal accident cover, directors’ and officers’ liability, and employers’ liability. But covering you as you go about your work is only part of what we do. There are numerous other benefits to holding the correct insurance:

It’s a key IR35 indicator:

There’s enough to discuss about IR35 to make another blog post entirely (in fact, we’ve done just that). But, to put it simply, it’s a piece of government legislation aimed at uncovering ‘disguised employment’. What’s that? In essence, ‘disguised employment’ is when a freelancer works on a contract through their limited company, but their working conditions and contract indicate that they are working in the same way as a traditional employee.

If you get caught up in this legislation then your income will be subject to normal income tax and National Insurance contributions, meaning that you’ll lose the advantage of the low salary, high dividends tax arrangement that many contractors benefit from.

If HMRC decide to investigate the validity of your contract against the stipulations of IR35 legislation then they’ll carry out a series of Business Entity Tests. These tests function as one of the ways to prove that your contract is at low, medium, or high risk of being caught out by IR35.

Being covered by professional indemnity insurance (one of the elements of the Kingsbridge policy package) can improve your IR35 stance significantly, and forms a significant part of the Business Entity Test.

Ensuring you are fully covered as a freelance contractor is a vital step towards covering yourself at every level. At Kingsbridge we have designed our core insurance package to cover the risks you’re exposed to as a freelance contractor. This includes Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Employers’ Liability cover, all at levels that suit the needs of the modern freelancer.

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The Most Interesting Jobs in the Oil and Gas Industry

Pigging Oil and Gas

One of the most important parts of what we do here at Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance is finding out what it is our customers do for work. As the list of professions and roles we cover continues to grow, so does our list of job titles. We consider ourselves to be experts in every field we cover, but on occasion there are jobs that even we have to Google before setting up a contractor with insurance. In the first of a series featuring all of the industries we cover, we take a look at what some of the more confounding job titles and specific areas within the Oil & Gas industry actually mean.

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