In a month where every UK tax payer was anticipating the news from the Chancellor’s budget, much of the speculation focussed on the potential for independent professionals to benefit from the news. There were some other stories which grabbed the headlines in the run-up to the announcement.SJD Accountancy - Accountant

HMRC attempted to combat misunderstandings about the tax system in an attempt to reduce the number of people who were managing to file their tax returns on time, but making avoidable errors in doing so. Many people are aware of the potential to be fined for failing to complete your tax return, but the penalties for completing on time but incorrectly are less publicised.

This year, HMRC have contacted those who failed to fill out their details correctly and provided them with guidance on the system in order to help them ascertain where they went wrong, work out if they have ground for appeal, and talk them through the process if they need to do so. Click Here for more >

February has been a month with promise, according to industry experts who have been analysing the job markets and making predictions for the rest of the year. Certain sectors may be increasing their hiring, creating more opportunities for those who have specialised skills and experience in those industries.SJD Accountancy - News

A survey of the finance sector showed that there were plans by many financial institutions to increase their spending on IT, creating roles which are likely to be best suited to those who have expertise in system design. Most of those who are planning to up their budgets are doing so in order to reach new customers and increase engagement as well as attempting to optimise their efficiency.

Building societies are most likely to spend on IT infrastructure, with their responses to the study revealing a forward-thinking approach to apps and system development when it comes to planning growth. In contrast, banks are significantly behind their counterparts when it comes to investment in their IT systems and applications, believing that they were in no way vital to their future growth with just one per cent believing that this was the secret to ongoing growth.

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Despite oil prices falling this month, there is cause for optimism for contractors in the oil and gas sector as many companies are not contemplating a reduction in staffing as a result. Not only were many companies considering retaining their current head-counts, but there are signs that suggest a significant number will actually increase recruitment.SJD Accountancy - limited company

Forward thinking firms are likely to invest in research and exploration despite the slump in prices, and with the skills gap still looming large, it is likely that experienced and skilled contractors will continue to provide solutions to the ongoing hiring problems. Those with IT skills as well as experience in the oil and gas industries could find themselves in even more demand as many firms say they are considering cost-saving measures, many of which could well have a technological basis.

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As well as the oil and gas industries, the construction sector is also likely to be profitable for contractors who can increase their profits in the wake of rising demand for new building. Contractors are likely to be able to increase their margins given that the cost of most materials is falling and many are passing their increased overheads on to their clients.

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SJD Accountancy - late invoicesLate payment is a growing issue for many contractors and Limited company owners, and the IPSE is supporting calls to put an end to it.

Last year, research from payments provider Worldpay, surveyed over 1,000 mobile tradespeople and micro businesses in the UK, and found that 75% of respondents have had a late payment in the last year.

The survey also revealed that late payments are becoming a growing dilemma for contractors and small businesses, with nearly half (45%) of respondents saying they’ve had cashflow problems as a result.

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SJD AccountancyThere have been a number of reports showing that confidence is growing among UK contractors, with many looking to expand their company’s in 2015.

There have also been reports revealing that many smaller sized businesses are confident about exporting in the New Year, with latest research from Open to Export showing that 78% of business owners and managers believe that 2015 will be better than 2014, with the most popular new markets for exports being Europe (59%) and North America (44%).

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