Weekend Reading – 23/03/18

Kingsbridge News

We’ll be rounding up a selection of interesting stories we’ve found once a week for your reading pleasure. Click on the links below to read the full article.

Ikea rolls out nationwide assembly services with TaskRabbit

“The Swedish furniture retailer announced plans on Tuesday to roll out a program with labor marketplace TaskRabbit nationwide. Customers can book a “tasker” through TaskRabbit to assemble their Ikea furniture for a flat price depending on the size of the item.

The service is currently available in New York City and San Francisco locations and will be released in more major cities throughout the year. Customers also may signup for the service online in locations where TaskRabbit is already available.”

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BBC Caught up in IR35 Fiasco

BBC IR35

All the hand-wringing and toing-and-froing about IR35 reform has taken a darker turn in recent days with the revelation that an unnamed BBC presenter tried to kill herself as a result of stress brought on by pay deal wrangling with the public broadcaster.

In evidence presented to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the anonymous presenter said that she and a number of other colleagues were pressured into setting up personal service companies (PSCs) which subsequently fell foul of HMRC, leading to eye-watering bills for unpaid taxes.

The presenter in question felt forced to set up a PSC in 2011, despite realising that she would lose out financially as a result. As noted by the Guardian: “When controversy over the arrangement blew up in 2017, she said she then had to work on three-month contracts with “no sick pay, no holiday, no permanent contract” opposite a better-paid male staff member who enjoyed those benefits.”

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Why was the Spring Statement so short?

Spring Statement

Although it came in at slightly over the previously estimated 20 minutes last week’s Spring Statement was still a refreshing departure from the normal bluster that surrounds political policy announcements. But why was it so trimmed down?

No major policy changes

Normally, government Budget announcements are awash with fiscal policy changes and everything from income tax to duty paid on a pint of lager can be up for a rethink. However, 2018 has seen the start of a new format, where the Spring Statement will be reserved for responses to OBR data alongside a few key updates. The Autumn Budget (which usually takes place in November) will be where all of the major financial changes will be put forward. On the whole, this was borne out yesterday with little-to-no mention of policy, other than references to reform and legislation that had already previously been announced.

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Practical tips for contractors and freelancers preparing for the end of the tax year

Practical Tips for Contractors

We know it doesn’t seem like much time has passed between the end of the last tax year and the end of this one, but we’re almost there already.

While there’s no need for you to submit your tax return immediately on 6 April, many contractors and freelancers don’t like to hang around. After all, there’s not much sense in waiting until the October and January deadlines to rush everything in.

Furthermore, if you operate on a cash in, cash out basis then your books are probably more or less good to go. So, what can contractors and freelancers do to prep for the end of the tax year and ensure submitting their 2017/2018 Self-Assessment is a breeze?

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Where can I get a Website for Free?

Top 10 Free Websites

Top 10 DIY website builders for small businesses

There used to be a time when building your own website was something you outsourced to a specialist. But these days, whether you know your Ruby from your Python or not, a great-looking site can be completed in the space of an afternoon.

As a self-employed person, it’s become ever more important to make sure that you have a visible presence online. A quick Google search is often the entry point for any organisation looking for a self-employed professional, so it pays to put the time in.

There are a vast array of free website builders out there, but the difference in ease of use and quality varies dramatically. Take a look below for our ten preferred options (in no particular order).

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Spring Statement 2018 – The Kingsbridge Reaction

Spring Statement 2018

Yesterday marked the Chancellor’s first Spring Statement. Given that we’d previously been told to expect no major policy changes or any drastic fiscal manoeuvring, the lack of any great detail wasn’t a surprise.

The contracting community were, however, expecting to see some kind of announcement on the future of potential IR35 reforms in the private sector. Although there was no mention of such reform in Mr. Hammond’s speech to the Commons, further information released afterwards confirmed that a consultation will be published later this year:

“In the coming months the Government will publish: Off-payroll working – a consultation on how to tackle non-compliance in the private sector, drawing on the experience of the public sector reform. The Government will work with businesses and individuals to mitigate the potential administrative burdens of any future changes.”

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Have you achieved your contractor goals this tax year?

Contractor Goals

In our experience working with contractors and freelancers, many use the start of the new tax year to set goals for themselves and their business. These goals vary, from a desire to make a certain amount of money, to a wish to meet a certain number of new clients, to a commitment to networking, or even something as simple as updating their website.

This means that the end of the tax year is the perfect time to assess your goals and reflect on what you’ve achieved.

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How contractors and freelancers can get into shape for the new tax year

Contractor Tax Tips

While it’s vital to make sure you’re prepared for the end of this tax year, it’s also good practice for contractors and freelancers to make sure they’re in shape for the next tax year too. A bit of organisation and preparation can save you time later on, making the whole Self-Assessment process much easier.

At Kingsbridge, we’ve been helping contractors with their insurance needs for a long time, so we like to think we’re in good position to provide some advice. So, let us share our tips for how to get yourself into shape for the 2018/2019 tax year.

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Spring Statement 2018: What Should Contractors Expect?

Spring Statement 2018

With the Spring Statement less than a week away (13th March, to be precise) it’s time to take a look at what exactly it might hold for contractors. Regular readers of this blog (and the self-employed in general) will be aware that previous Budgets and Statements, for a few years now, have been unduly weighted towards penalising contractors and freelancers. Will this year be any different?

IR35 in the Private Sector

That, of course, is a question that remains near impossible to answer at this point in time. But we can speculate. In last November’s Autumn Budget the Chancellor moved to put a consultation in place for the extension of the previous April’s public sector IR35 reforms into the private sector.

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Things every contractor and freelancer should consider at the start of 2018

Contracting Plans 2018

You should be well into your new year’s resolutions now. But as you continue to get fit, quit biting your nails, as well as reading a new book every week, have you given much thought to your business?

Obviously, you’ve thought about it, but have you thought about the things you could do throughout 2018 to make your business better and your life easier? No? Read on below for a list we’ve put together with some of the top things contractors and freelancers may want to have in their sights over the next 12 months.

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