IR35 Trouble? We’ve got the cover for you

IR35

Regular readers of this blog will know that we’ve covered IR35 fairly extensively in the recent past. Whether we’re talking about the ins and outs of what it actually is or highlighting examples of contractors who’ve fallen foul of the legislation, we like to think of it as a subject we know well.

But there’s only so much talking we can do. Sometimes action has to be taken. That’s why we’ve recently introduced our Legal Expenses Plus policy, our cover designed to help you should you find yourself in the midst of an IR35 investigation.

An IR35 investigation is not something any contractor wants on their plate. Regardless of whether you’re found to be inside IR35 or not, it’s time consuming, stressful, and a likely drain on finances given the amount of effort you’ll have to put into defending yourself.

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IR35 IRL – How much will getting caught cost you?

IR35

There was a time when IR35 was something of a bogeyman to contractors. Tall tales and horror stories. Lurking in the shadows. A looming spectre, but never quite tangible enough to make you feel its presence. Those days are over. Gone are the 1 in 60,000 odds of being caught.

In the last 18 months or so HMRC has ramped up its campaign to catch contractors working as disguised employees and therefore inside IR35. Need more proof? We’ve rounded up a few of the more prominent cases below.

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Everything a Contractor Needs to Know About IR35

IR35

IR35. Two letters. Two numbers. It might not seem like much, but it should be at the forefront of any contractor’s thoughts. Not understanding the implications of IR35 could be the difference between a trouble-free working existence and a huge, potentially business-ending, fine.

If you work in the public sector there’s a good chance you’ve already felt the sting of the recent reforms which have left independent workers at the likes of the NHS and BBC up in arms at their treatment.

Unfortunately, there’s a very good chance that the same reforms will roll out to the private sector in the near future, after an upcoming consultation due to be released this year. Given how prevalent the legislation is likely to become, it’s important that contractors make sure they know as much as possible.

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On the Road – Kingsbridge at Chester Races and the Chelsea Flower Show

Kingsbridge

Many a day at Kingsbridge HQ is spent either behind a desk on a computer or (quite literally) out on the road, travelling to and from meetings. It’s all for the greater good of course, but sometimes we do like to step out and experience some of the outside world. Often, as a sign of our gratitude towards them, we like to do this with the partners we work with. The last month was no exception.

In May some of the Kingsbridge team, along with guests, hit the races in Chester and paid a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show. Both events provided an excellent opportunity for us to get to know our partner companies even better, giving both us and them a chance to get out of the office and relax. It also gives us a moment to thank those key decision makers in person.

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New Additions – Shaun Poole

New Additions

The Kingsbridge team is constantly growing. Regular readers of the blog will know that it was only around a year ago that we doubled the size of our HQ to accommodate more team members. Whilst we’re not bursting at the seams again quite yet, it probably won’t be too long before we outgrow our new surroundings too. With that in mind, we thought we’d start giving you a peek behind-the-scenes every now and then, introducing a few of our new additions.

Today we’re saying hello to Shaun Poole. Shaun has been a member of the Customer Service team at Kingsbridge for almost 4 years now, and is about to make the move over to our Business Development team. Known as ‘BD’s’ in and around the office, Shaun and his colleagues build and maintain relationships with a number of our key partners, all of whom are integral to the success of Kingsbridge.

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Bring on the 2018 APSCo Charity Ball!

APSCo Ball

Aloha ahiahi! That’s ‘good evening’ in Hawaiian (yes, we had to Google it.) Why the change in language? It’s not the tropical weather we’ve been experiencing lately, or a reflection of our desire to escape these shores for a more suitable summer environment. It’s actually because the 2018 APSCo Charity Ball is happening very soon, on 7th June. The theme? ‘Aloha’. Think flower garlands, surfboards, grass skirts, palm trees, and a coconut or two.

The event is taking place in Manchester at the Deansgate Hilton, and an evening of generosity, enthusiasm and, most importantly, a great sense of fun is on the cards. Celebrating the best recruitment has to offer, the night out will raise vital funds for a great cause – Saint Ann’s Hospice in Manchester.

We’re delighted to be sponsoring the event, and are very much looking forward to it. The APSCo Ball has become an annual highlight of many people’s calendars and this year will be no different. Need a little more information? Simply click on this link to learn more. Make sure to check back in on the blog in a week or so for pictures and a summary of how the night unfolded.

Increasing number of students gravitating towards self-employment, survey finds

Student Self Employment

We like to keep our ear to the ground here at Kingsbridge. We’ve been vocal in the past about the positive impact of contractors, freelancers, and the self-employed on the UK economy. But what does the future hold? The working world is changing rapidly, and the next generation of workers will find themselves in an entirely different situation to their parents.

The path these days isn’t as clear cut as it once was. Gone is a lifetime spent in one job, gradually working your way up the ladder. Workers today move and adapt, changing jobs, industries, and skill sets whenever they need or want to.

We’ve noticed that fluidity in our role as insurers, and a recent survey by print company Solopress indicated a similar trajectory going forward. Graduate jobs, the survey found, are being ditched in favour of self-employment.

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Government announces consultation around private sector IR35 reform

Private Sector IR35

With a certain sense of inevitability, on 18th May the government announced their intention to carry out a consultation on tax avoidance in the private sector.

Any of those in the contracting community with even a passing interest in IR35 legislation will have known this was coming, the question having always been ‘when?’ rather than ‘if’. But what impact is it likely to have going forward?

When announcing the consultation period, the government were at pains to point out that “no decisions have been made” in terms of rolling out IR35 reform into the private sector and made it clear that they were actively seeking opinion on how the rules around the controversial legislation can be improved.

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Universal Credit system does not support the self-employed, report confirms

Universal Credit

A committee of MPs have poured scorn upon Universal Credit rules which they say risk “crushing” the self-employed and start-ups. In a report published on 10th May, the MPs state that the benefit has been “designed with little regard…for people starting and running their own business” with the ultimate consequence not stopping far short of “crushing potentially viable, productive enterprises.”

Despite freelancers, contractors, and the self-employed making up around a sixth of the entire UK workforce, the revelations come as little surprise given the cavalier attitude the government has displayed towards them in the past. With IR35 reform rumbling on, and a rolling out of private sector reform appearing inevitable, the Universal Credit blow is simply the latest example of the callous disregard shown towards an area of the workforce that has continued to grow despite the obstacles placed in its path.

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Top tips for organising your home office

Home Office Tips

As a contractor or freelancer – particularly if you’re a freelancer – you’ll spend a fair amount of time working from your home office. This will vary from person to person, of course, but most people have either a room or a section of a room in their house that they dedicate to work.

It’s not like working in an office where people will tell you where things get filed or how your space should look. Instead, it’s up to you. At Kingsbridge, we’ve picked up lots of tips from our self-employed clients over the years so we thought we’d share a few of our favourites in this blog.

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