Contractors

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Why Accurus Accountants for Contractors?

Our team offer a full rage of services for all your accounting needs. These cover:

Accurus | Accountants for Contractors and IR35

As a contractor it is imperative you are aware of IR35 legislation, what it entails and the risks involved. Even if you are relatively new to contracting, you should not ignore IR35, as it affects everyone in the contracting business. In a Nutshell, IR35 legislation tries to tax your company income as employment income.

Factors to consider if you are working within or outside IR35 legislation

To determine whether you are inside IR35 or outside IR35 there are three main tests to establish employment status:

  • Control: A worker is not an employee unless there is a right to exercise control over the worker. This could be a right to control what work is done, where or when it is done or how it is done. The right of control is what is important and not the actual control.
  • The right to get a substitute or assistant to do the job: personal service is an essential element of an employment contract. A self-employed person has the freedom to choose whether to do the job himself or hire someone else to do it for him; he may hire someone else to provide substantial help.
  • Mutuality of obligation: There should be various mutual obligations within the contract. The obligation to perform and be paid for performing would form part of any contract – but the mutual obligations needed for a contract of employment consist of more that this, there needs to be obligation to offer, and an obligation to accept, future work.

Plus, there are many other factors:

  • Financial risk: There must be real risk of financial loss. For example, an individual who risks his own money by investing in assets needed for the job and pays their own running costs and overheads is most probably self-employed. Financial risk could also take the form of working on a fixed-price for a job for example, with the risk of bearing the additional costs if the job overruns. However, this will not necessarily mean that the worker is self-employed unless it is clear there is real risk of financial loss.
  • Right of dismissal: In a service contract there is no right to terminate an engagement by giving notice of a specified length, which is a common feature of an employment contract. A service contract usually ends when the task is complete or if the terms of the contract are breached.
  • Provision of equipment: the self-employed contractor generally provides all the equipment required for the job. The provision of significant equipment or materials that are fundamental to the engagement is of particular importance. For example, an IT consultant is engaged to undertake a specific project and works exclusively at home using his or her own computer equipment; this will be a strong indicator of self-employed status. But a worker who is provided with office space and computer equipment suggests employment, even if the worker occasionally uses his own computer at home.
  • Basis of payment: Independent contractors tend to be paid a fixed sum for a particular job. Employees, on the other hand, are paid a fixed wage or salary weekly or monthly and often qualify for additional payments such as overtime, a long-service bonus or profit share.
  • Intention: The reality of the relationship matters. It is not enough to call a person “self-employed” if all the terms and conditions of the engagement point towards employment. However, if other factors are neutral, the intentions of the parties will then be the deciding factor in employment status.
  • Profit from sound management: A person whose profit or loss depends on his capacity to reduce overheads and organise his work effectively may well be self-employed. People who are paid by the job will often be in this position.
  • Part and parcel of the organisation: Establishing whether a person becomes “part and parcel” of a client’s organisation can be a useful indicator in some situations. For example, someone taken on to manage the client’s staff will normally be seen as part and parcel of the client’s organisation and is, therefore, likely to be seen as an employee.
  • Length of engagement: Long periods working for one client may be typical of employment, but will not stand up as conclusive evidence. It is still necessary to consider all the terms and conditions of each engagement. Regularly working for the same client may indicate that there is a single and continuing contract of employment.
  • Employee benefits: Employees are often entitled to sick pay, holiday pay, pensions and expenses. The absence of these benefits does not necessarily mean that the worker is self-employed – especially in the case of short-term engagements – where such payments would not normally feature.

When the facts have been established it is appropriate to look at the overall picture: whether it indicates a person in business or one working as an employee. if the evidence is evenly balanced the intention of the parties may then decide the issue.

As you can see, this is a complex area and all contracts are considered on a case by case basis.

Accurus | Accountants for Contractors and VAT registration

VAT Registration is optional if your turnover is less than £85,000. If your Turnover exceeds £85,000 then VAT registration is mandatory. You may wish to voluntarily register for VAT, if your turnover is below the threshold level. For more information, click here.

Accurus | Accountants for Contractors and Claiming expenses

Some of the most common expenses that you may be able to claim include the following.

  • Company formation
  • Accountancy fees
  • Business travel and accommodation
  • Postage for business
  • Stationery for business
  • Business telephone calls
  • Mobile telephone and calls
  • Salaries
  • Employer’s NI contributions
  • Contributions to an executive pension plan
  • Business entertainment
  • Equipment purchased for business purposes
  • Motoring expenses using fixed-rate allowances
  • Computer software
  • Technical books and journals
  • Certain professional subscriptions
  • Use of home as office
  • Company bank charges and interest

Please remember you must keep all receipts and have all of them to hand for audit if necessary.

Accurus | Accountants for Contractors
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We can provide the software and bookkeeping to ensure that we are able to provide real time stats to aid effective decision making. This can include regular management accounts, Key performance reporting, cashflow reporting and risk management.​

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