Here are some of the latest contractor-related stories from over the New Year period…
Self-Assessment deadline closing in
It’s that time of year again… If you’re a limited company director, or have received additional income upon which tax is payable during the 2012/13 tax year, you will need to file your self assessment tax return (SATR) by 31st January 2014. This is also the date by which you must pay any tax liabilities you have for the previous tax year.
Importantly, if you’re filing online yourself (rather than using an accountant), you’ll need to get an activation code from HMRC before you can use its Online Services. This can take over 7 working days, so you should act now.
Find out more in our new guide to Self Assessment.
Contractor loses tax avoidance case
A tax tribunal has ruled against a tax avoidance scheme which provided its participants with foreign currency loans instead of taxable income. User of the scheme signed up as ’employees’ to Sandfield Consultants Ltd (based on the Isle of Man), and received two thirds of their remuneration in the form of loans.
Contractor Philip Boyle, appealed against his recent HMRC demand for backtaxes to the First-Tier Tribunal, but lost his case in December.
The judge in the case ruled that the loans were not genuine, and currency trades were made at an artificial exchange rate.
According to the Government, “15,000 people used schemes similar to that used by Philip Boyle”, and 226 out of 348 users of this particular scheme (marketed by Consulting Overseas Limited) have settled with HMRC to the tune of £5m.
Find out more via this GOV.UK release.
FCSA updates code of conduct to include self-employed providers
The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association, which represents some of the UK’s leading contractor accountants and umbrella providers, has updated its code of conduct to include providers who cater for self-employed workers.
You can view the document here.
UK set to overtake German economy… in 2028
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has published its predictions for the relative rankings of the world’s leading economies over the next 5, 10 and 15 years.
In part due to the fact that the UK is not in the Euro, and also due to demographic changes (i.e. continued mass immigration), the UK’s economy is set to overtake Germany’s within the next 15 years.
By 2028, China is predicted to be the world’s largest economy (in GDP terms), followed by the USA.
US businesses seeking to hire more IT contractors
According to a survey carried out by US-based IT recruiter, Mondo, almost half of all businesses polled said that they planned to hire more IT contractors than permanent staff over the next 12-18 months. Just under a third said that their total budget for IT contractor resources was also set to increase over the same time period.
Some of the areas ‘under consideration’ for future contractor recruitment include application services, data centre operations and database administration. 27% of the 200 decision maker’s surveyed said they planned to oursource more mobile and web development work over the coming 18 months.