As the Conservative government settles into power, expectations are high for them to follow through on their promises, including a review into self employment and the provision of support to those who work for themselves to allow them the same opportunities as those who are employed.SJD Accountancy - finance contractor

ONS reveals contracting is on the up

After months where the number of contractors was increasing steadily, the numbers of people choosing to work for themselves had dropped off a little, but this trend appears not to have taken hold over the second quarter of 2015. The Office for National Statistics has learned that there are more people choosing to work for themselves than might have been expected given the declining numbers between March and May this year.

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The silly summer season may see some more light-hearted news stories hitting the headlines, but there have been some serious goings on in the world of contracting, tax and policy-making which have captured the interests of the flexible workforce.SJD Accountancy - Expenses

APNs deemed legal by High Court

HMRC has been given the go-ahead by the High Court to pursue payments from individuals that they believe have used tax avoidance schemes. A group of users brought a case against the taxman, the essence of which was that the Accelerated Payment Notices that they had been issued were illegal on five counts. All five were, however, dismissed by the High Court and although there may be an appeal, HMRC have moved into what they describe as ‘full collection mode’ as well as issuing yet more APNs in the wake of the ruling.

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As the dust settles after the Summer Budget announcement and contractors, freelancers and other independent professionals are dealing with the realisation that the government may yet introduce more measures which will have a significant impact on their finances, news from elsewhere is mixed.SJD Accountancy - UK economy confidence

Self employment is on the decline

Whilst there have been many reports about the increasing numbers of self employed individuals in recent months, it appears that the ongoing increase in self employment may be drawing to an end. With 131,000 fewer independent professionals than there were in the previous year, speculation is rife as to the reasons that fewer people are choosing to go it alone. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed are concerned, believing that the Conservative government’s lack of support could be responsible, but there are those who believe that it is a sign of a new-found strength in traditional employment.

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With the Chancellor announcing his second Budget of 2015, there has been plenty to keep contractors interested in the government’s plans for their future. Between HMRC’s attempts to raise revenue and the Conservative Party’s pledge to support small businesses, it has been a busy month.SJD Accountancy - late invoices

HMRC admits shortcomings

Calling HMRC may not be top of most people’s lists of things to do at the best of times, but the department have had to admit that they have failed to provide a suitably efficient service over recent months. The chief executive has acknowledged the difficulties that people have been having, and pledged an increase in the number of staff available in the run-up to the July 31st tax credit deadline.

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With contractor availability hitting a seven-month low, recruiters have been having trouble finding qualified staff to fill the roles available, but this means contractors’ prospects are good in a number of sectors, such as IT.SJD Accountancy - contractor accountant

Firms relying on IT security contractors

An increasing number of companies are failing to protect themselves against online fraud and attacks on the sensitive data that they hold, meaning that they have to turn to IT security contractors to help them deal with data breaches with increasing regularity. The last two years have seen more breaches than ever before with a 183 per cent increase in the number of security investigations launched.

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