News from industry, GSA or the team...
29. 01. 2016
Come April this year, HMRC have decided, in their infinite wisdom, to remove Travel & Subsistence tax relief for workers providing their services through an intermediary where Supervision, Direction OR Control applies. Their belief is that agency workers only work at one location (like an employee) and therefore should not be able to have this tax relief. The fact that many workers have many roles throughout a year, validly argued to HMRC by many interested parties, seemed to fall on deaf ears, helping to reduce the flexibility of the UK work force; not what the country needs right now. There is some light at the end of the tunnel, but not a lot. If you work through a PSC (personal service company), the entitlement to claim this tax relief will be aligned with your IR35 status, so if your assignment is outside of IR35 you can claim it. If you work through an Umbrella company, as I mentioned, this all hinges around whether Supervision, Direction OR Control applies, and the very flawed test that HMRC will apply. Essentially, if you are subject to Supervision, Direction OR Control as to the manner in which you undertake your services, by ANYONE in the supply chain, you will be unable to claim the tax relief. There will be an assumption of SDC so umbrellas will automatically not claim the tax relief. However, if an end client confirms no SDC, the tax relief can apply. There is a very big HOWEVER though. Even if Supervision, Direction OR Control does not appear to apply, the fact that anyone in the supply chain COULD exercise Supervision, Direction OR Control, even if they don’t then it still applies. Many clients may not want to risk confirming there is no SDC when the test is not black and white. What will be the results of this? For PSCs, it will currently have very little affect (but wait until next year when the review of IR35 has finally finished its consultation!) For Umbrella workers, take home pay may be reduced – which could push up charge rates to clients across all sectors Many Umbrella workers may decide to work through their own PSC which is not always the right model for them. In theory, it will affect 40% of the market as 60% do not currently claim this tax relief anyway. In the light of the Google and Starbucks corporation tax debacles, this vastly sweeping attack on the flexible workforce market, across tens of thousands of workers, will raise about the same as Google have finally paid in tax. Worth the effort? I don’t think so – go focus on a few more multinationals and HMRC might see its revenue grow.
14. 01. 2016
LinkedIn has become synonymous with recruitment, and if you are looking for a new job, or interested in hearing about opportunities that might tempt you to make a move, you'll want your profile to be found. With 350 million LinkedIn users, it's essential to do what you can to ensure your profile is optimised to make sure this happens. You need to think of this optimisation in 2 ways. Firstly, you want to appear in searches and, secondly, you want those who find you to be interested in your details. Below is a brief summary of some simple actions you can take to be more visible. Your headline - include relevant, meaningful terms / job titles that people understand. Search for people with similar jobs to you to see what they call themselves. If you had a strange job title, consider 'normalising' it so people find you and understand your job. Change your LinkedIn URL. As standard, LinkedIn gives you a default URL that looks something like linkedin.com/pub/yourname2454646. By simply selecting Edit Profile from the top menu, then contact info, click on the cog to the right of this URL and you will have the option of choosing your own ie linkedin.com/in/yourname Profile photo - make it professional. LinkedIn is not facebook. Remember it is a professional identity. Summary - sell yourself in your job history - your experience, achievements, projects, skills. Education - ensure your education is complete and upto date. Get as many connections, endorsements and recommendations as you can - all these help you rank highly. Join groups - you are 5 times more likely to be found if you are a member of relevant groups. A great example of a well completed profile can be found on our Clinical Coding team recruiters, Tom Blakey. This links through to his info page on our site, or you can do directly to his LinkedIn profile here.
06. 02. 2015
As part of the HMRC’s intermediary reporting requirements (part of the Employment Intermediaries Legislation), HMRC have finally released the details of what information about contractors they require each quarter starting from April this year. It;s hard to believe, but the final list of information is a trimmed down version of what was originally proposed! GSA Techsource has been involved in working with HMRC in testing the new reporting solution but, unfortunately, had little say in what data is required. Just a few months ago, HMRC had told us they wanted dates of birth and gender, potentially leaving us and our clients open to discrimination claims. Fortunately we were not the only voice that raised grave concerns over this point, and HMRC appeared, to a point, to have conceded. GSA primarily engages with Ltd company contractors, and therefore has a contractual relationship with that limited company. However, HMRC require us to supply the workers home address details along with their National Insurance number – this may (or will) prove a highly contentious issue with many contractors in the market place but appears to be something that cannot be avoided. I sincerely hope HMRC have given enough time for our software suppliers to develop solutions within their software to at least go some way to making the collation of this information bearable, although I do see it is going to be an expensive and time consuming problem the whole industry now faces.
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