Two-thirds of contractors expect a rate rise in 2014
The latest survey of IT and finance contractors, carried out by service provider giant group, shows growing confidence in the contracting market.
According to the poll, 64% of IT contractor respondents expect to receive a rate hike this year – up on the figures reported in 2011 and 2012.
Encouraging, the average time IT contractors spend ‘on the bench’ between contracts has decreased – with 81% reporting an average gap of 31 days or less. This figure is up from 77% two years ago.
Following several tough years for financial services contractors, confidence is also rebounding strongly, with 67% of finance contractors expecting an increase in earnings over the next 12 months (up from a mere 60% in 2011).
Matthew Giant, MD of the umbrella services firm, commented; “The results aren’t entirely surprising; as many organisations increasingly look to update their IT systems, experienced contractors will be needed to handle system migration projects. The on-going regulation developments in the finance sector could also, partially, explain the increasing confidence shown in that industry.”
SJD named ‘best contractor accountant’
SJD Accountancy has won one of the top prizes in this year’s Contractor UK Readers’ Awards.
The firm, which has over 13,000 limited company clients on its books, is now the 32nd largest accountancy firm in the country (according to Accountancy Age).
Commenting on the ‘best accountant’ award, Anthony Sherick from Contractor UK said; “They set the standard within the contracting industry for accountancy services and constantly strive for the best service possible, listening to their customers and evolving with their feedback. They are worthy winners for this category.”
In the other leading awards category, Giant Group (mentioned above) won the ‘best umbrella company’ gong.
Most contractors happy with ‘lifestyle’ choice
According to a poll by leading contractor accountants, ClearSky Accounting, the vast majority of contractors are happy with their career choice, with 92% opting to continue contracting for the ‘forseeable future’.
The firm, which signed up an impressive 1,600 new sign-ups in 2013, also passed the 10,000 limited company client milestone.
Commenting on the poll findings, accounting director Daniel Mepham said: “I believe that the next 12 months will deliver an increase in demand across the core contracting disciplines, particularly in the oil & gas and finance sectors.”
HMRC uses ‘distraint’ power against self-assessment late payers
HMRC seized the assets of a record number of self-assessment taxpayers over the past 12 months (1,488 in total), according to independent finance firm, Syscap.
The controversial powers of distraint allow the taxman to visit business premises without prior warning to collect overdue taxes. If the business fails to pay up within five days, HMRC can then confiscate and sell business assets without having to apply for a court order.
Philip White, SEO of Syscap, said that the January 31st self-assessment tax deadline could create further cashflow problems for small business owners, and with HMRC tasked with raising more funds than ever, those in risk of going into the red “need to take immediate steps to secure funding. HMRC is more likely than ever to take a draconian approach to tax debts.”
“If HMRC seizes a company’s assets, there is a good chance that it could be a fatal blow. A small business that loses valuable machinery, vehicles or IT systems is likely to find it extremely difficult to continue trading.”
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