With ongoing speculation about the results of the EU referendum, plenty of people are still undecided about which way to vote, not least because they are finding it hard to ascertain what the impact of a Brexit would be on them. With changes already being made to the way international employees must be treated, the way the UK interacts with the rest of the world will definitely be changing whatever the outcome. Meanwhile, closer to home, all eyes are on HMRC’s plans for the digitisation of the self assessment tax system with some concerned that a new system will not be as user friendly as the department claims.
What will happen to contractors in a Brexit
The relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe might have weathered some tough times over the years but the prospect of a Brexit has some commentators concerned about the impact that a ‘leave’ vote could have on the UK’s economy. Any change to the status quo is likely to cause some degree of uncertainty, but for the time being it appears that there is no significant impact on the UK’s businesses. Many sectors are still actively recruiting contractors, with the financial services sector enjoying a bit of a boost after David Cameron’s negotiations with the 27 member states to secure more protection for financial institutions.
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ICT rules changes
When companies want to move their staff around, particularly internationally, they are bound by regulations on Intra Company Transfers which are intended to prevent businesses from bringing in cheap labour from outside the EU to undercut home-grown talent. These rules have recently been changed to ensure that IT professionals who come to the UK from outside Europe will need to be paid at least £41,500, on the recommendation the Migration Advisory Committee. The changes have been welcomed by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed who are pleased to know that the future of UK contractors is more secure as a result.
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Digital tax return a less than impressive prospect
The self assessment system has often been criticised for being too complex with many people believing that it needs a complete overhaul, but the government’s plans to digitise the process has met with some degree of disapproval. Their proposals include a requirement for those who use the system to submit financial information quarterly, in a move that critics say will represent a significant administrative burden to small businesses and self employed individuals. The Administrative Burdens Advisor Board has announced that they will not be backing the plans, in a move which has undermined confidence in the taxman’s plans, reflecting the worries that many small businesses have about how they could be affected.
Updated guidance for employment intermediaries
The government has taken the opportunity to clarify the requirements for the quarterly reports that employment intermediaries will be required to provide about the contractors they employ. Those who are likely to be affected have welcomed the online note, alongside reassurance that the decisions made by the department have been done so with the intention of reducing the regulatory burden where possible. This has set out the potential fines that businesses could incur if they fail to submit their reports on time, as well as the appeals process in place.
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