HMRC targets offshore payment scheme contractors
HMRC is continuing its highly publicised clampdown against tax avoidance schemes; this time targeting contractors (and others) who have used offshore employment vehicles to avoid tax, while actually providing their services in the UK.
In many of these schemes, which have been marketed to contractors over the past few years, members typically receive most of their income in the form of loans (which aren’t taxable).
The main attraction of such scheme arrangements, which HMRC deems to be ‘artificial’, is that in most cases the loans are never paid back.
According to a page on the HMRC site, many users of such schemes have been sent assessment letters for the period between 2008-11. The letters contain an assessment of backtaxes owed, which can either be paid or appealed.
This once again highlights the importance of over ever using legitimate business structures when you go contracting. You can find out more about the basics here.
Read more about the offshore clampdown on the HMRC site.
Interim management demand continues to rise
The contract interim management industry has recorded its highest growth figures since 2006, according to the latest survey data released by the Interim Management Association.
409 new assignments started during the last quarter (for IMA member firms), a figure that has increased over the last four successive quarters.
Other results from the survey are also encouraging for the sector, with the average length of assignment up from 130 to 181 days, compared to the first quarter of 2013.
The number of women interims has also increased – up to 35% of the total interim population – the highest ratio since 2010.
The financial services sector continues to consume the lion’s share of interim managers – at 59% of the total, with the majority of interims being hired for programme or project management projects.
Recruitment agency market on the mend
Claims that the UK economy is finally turning a corner appear to be backed up by a wide variety of industry reports of late – the UK Recruitment Index being another example.
The latest data, compiled by Deloitte, reports that 72% of all professional recruitment companies have witnessed an increase in net income over the last year.
Just over 60% plan to open new offices over the coming 12 months.
You can view analysis of the latest survey results below, courtesy of YouTube.