Umbrella group calls for industry compliance
Self-regulatory industry group, All Umbrella Companies Are Equal, says that it has made further progress in its drive to make the umbrella company industry more compliant, and to provide contractors with a level playing field from which to choose a provider.
The group says that many umbrella companies believe that they are working in a compliant manner, but in reality – this is often not the case.
Following its second meeting since forming six months ago, the group says it hopes to work with HMRC to create an over-arching contract template, which would help umbrella companies work compliantly, from an HMRC point of view.
You can find out more about the group, and its aims here.
Skills crisis looms in Scotland
According to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs, there are signs that agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit skilled IT and engineering contractors.
Although the rate of growth in demand for many types of worker appear to have slowed over the past month, there is now a significant shortage of skilled personnel in the oil and gas industry, which has recorded the sharpest increase in rates across all industry sectors.
Contractors’ group holds freelancing event at Commons
The PCG and Fabian Society hosted a roundtable event on the importance of independent professionals at the House of Commons last week.
Participants included academics, Labour Party members, and representatives from other industry groups.
Professor Andrew Burke unveiled his findings on the role of freelancers in the UK economy – stating that freelancers “drive growth in sales and jobs in the firms that use them”, thus underlining their vital role to economic growth.
The PCG says that it will be working with all political parties in the run-up to the 2015 General Election.
PCG analyses latest job market stats
In a useful new feature, Georgios Nikolaidis, the PCG’s in-house economist, has taken a closer look at the latest labour market statistics.
Despite growing optimism, and lower levels of unemployment, the overall employment rate remains below 2008/9 levels, and the standard of living has dropped significantly since the start of the recession.
However, the growth in self-employment appears to be steady and consistent.
Deadline for paper self assessment returns
If you want to submit a paper tax return for the 2012/13 tax year, you have until October 31st for HMRC to receive the form.
If a paper return is received after this date, you will be subject to an automatic £100 fine, even if you have no tax to pay!
Most contractors use HMRC Online Services to complete their self assessment forms (or pay their accountants to do this for them).
If you opt for the online submission, you have until 31st January 2014 to both submit your return, and pay any liabilities you owe from the 2012/13 tax year.
You can find out more about registering here.