How UK Contractors are Affected by Brexit

53432411 - brexit great britain eu exit It’s been a couple of months since the Brexit vote, and while the dust has slowly been able to settle on what was an unquestionably surprising result, we’ve had the time to look into the ways in which British contractors are likely to be affected from our leaving the European Union (EU).

It’s important to note that though the Brexit vote has resulted in some immediate changes to the British economy, including but not limited to the weakening of the pound, new Prime Minister Theresa May has made it clear that the earliest that Britain would give its ‘notice’ to leave the EU, by triggering Article 50, won’t be until the first few months of 2017, after which there will be an up-to two year negotiation period before any changes begin to take place.

Homegrown Legislation is Greater Pain

One of the driving forces of the leave campaign was their assertion that, outside of the European Union, Britain would be able to drop all EU laws as we pleased. This includes the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR); a piece of EU legislation that has proven to be contentious among British contractors.

But there’s a twofold problem here. Firstly, if the UK is going to retain access to the single market then we’ll have to continue to abide by certain EU laws. Secondly, many contractors agree that certain pieces of homegrown legislation, such as IR35, are a much greater pain for contractors to negotiate than anything the EU has thrown their way.

Trade and Immigration Changes

The changes to trade and immigration, especially with regard to working in EU countries (more on that below), is an area in which it’s difficult to predict what is likely to happen.

There’s a good chance that the UK will stay a part of the single market, at least “in some form,” as was former Prime Minister David Cameron’s wording prior to the vote. Depending on how much a part of the single market we remain will make a big difference to the changes British contractors can expect to see post-Brexit.

Contracting in European Union to Require More Hurdles

Contracting in Europe, that is, travelling to Europe to fulfil contracts, or simply selling our services to European customers from home, is an already complicated affair. Britain’s exit from the EU is only going to create more hurdles for contractors looking to work in and with EU countries.

Depending on what trade deals and free-movement of people deals are put in place (with visa-waver schemes potentially having to be set up), these hurdles may be small or they may be great. Only time will tell, but it’s highly unlikely that UK contractors will be shut out of the EU altogether.

Experienced Contractor Accountants

To speak with a professional accountant to discuss how Brexit may affect your contracting business, both at home and abroad, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no obligation meeting.

Contractor Tax Changes and How They Affect You

43902000_sAfter all the goings-on of the last six weeks, Budget 2016, which took place in the middle of March, seems a lifetime ago.

Despite this, and despite the fact that then-Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has since been replaced by Philip Hammond at the hands of new Prime Minister Theresa May, all of the tax changes (or upcoming tax changes) for contractors that were underlined by Mr. Osborne at Budget 2016 still hold the same weight as they did before the Brexit vote.

Contractor Tax

For a more detailed look at the ins and outs of Budget 2016, you can read our key takeaways for contractors, companies, and individuals. For now, here are five of the most important contractor tax changes you should be thinking about right now:

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Reduced to 20%

In a huge boon to tax payers across the income spectrum, from April this year CGT was reduced from 28% to 20% for higher rate tax payers, and from 18% to 10% for basic rate tax payers. This change doesn’t apply to gains made from residential property however, which remains at its former rates.

Travel and Subsistence Tax Relief Scrapped for Some Contractors

With contractors facing the prospect of mandatory IR35 testing from April 2017, Travel and Subsistence tax relief between your home and your working location was scrapped in April for temporary contractors working through intermediaries, such as umbrella companies. Contractors whose work doesn’t fall under IR35 may still claim the relief.

Contractor Class 2 National Insurance Contributions Discontinued

Though the details are still somewhat cloudy, what we do know is that from 2018 Class 2 National Insurance Contributions for contractors will be discontinued, potentially saving contractors making a profit of £5,965 or more per year £2.80 per week. We say potentially because there’s a good chance that some, if not all, of this cost will simply be transferred to your new Class 4 National Insurance Contributions.

£1,000 Allowance for ‘Sharing Economy’ Workers

Touched upon in detail five months ago, with the government having recently recognised that traditional taxation methods don’t work for new-age contractors who are earning small and one-off payments as part of the sharing economy, a new tax-free allowance of £1,000 a year is to be introduced for those earning income through both through trade and property (Airbnb hosts rejoice).

Removal of National Insurance Employment Allowance

In a topsy-turvy turn of events, the withdrawal of the National Insurance Employment Allowance for contractors acting as single-person companies is set to go ahead, while Entrepreneurs’ Relief for multi-owner companies is set to be restored. Entrepreneurs’ Relief will also be offered to external investors in unquoted companies, though the details of this arrangement are still being consulted on.

Experienced Contractor Accountants

To speak with a professional accountant to discuss how these tax changes may affect you as a contractor, or for anything else, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no obligation meeting.