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Specialist accountants for Limited company contractors and freelancers

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PEP16 Small Practice

By PaperRocket Accounting, Jun 27 2017 05:00AM

For the majority of self-employed workers, they will have the freedom and flexibility to work wherever they choose, whether this is at home, a rented space or the nearest library or café.


Of course, what will work for one person, might not for another and there are pros and cons to any working space.


Here we take a look at some of the different working space options for contractors.



Working from home


For many people, the idea of working from their own home is a dream come true – you’re in your own personal space with complete control and you don’t have to partake in the usual daily commute to the office.


There are of course some downsides, for example, it can become quite a lonely way of working and you need to be able to stay focused and motivated to work!


In order to make sure you are making the most of your working day it’s most definitely worth coming up with a few rules and sticking to them.


Set yourself working hours – When you work from home, it can be difficult to separate work from relaxation time, and so by getting up and dressed and ready by a certain time, it will be much easier to set yourself up for ‘work mode’.


Give yourself set times for working and taking your lunch break, as well as other small breaks throughout the day.


Avoid distractions – There are plenty of distractions at home when compared to a ‘normal’ working environment.


Whether it’s the TV, social media or even the radio that distracts you, limit these things to break times in order to keep yourself focussed during your working hours.


Try to carry out any household chores during breaks, before or after your working day.


Make sure that you establish a work space – If possible, try to make a room a designated office space, where you can set up a desk and computer, as well as keeping all your work documents etc together in the one place.


Keep your office room or area as clean and tidy as possible, so that you can stay in work mode without getting stressed about finding certain files etc. and only keep the essentials on your desktop, such as your computer, printer and business phone.



Renting out a workspace


If the idea of working from home is something that doesn’t appeal to you, whether it’s because you’ll miss having the company of others or you just know you won’t be able to get on with as much work if you’re in your own home, then it might be worth considering renting out an office space.


Co-working spaces are ideal for those still yearning for a working environment, but with all the perks of being your own boss.


One of the downsides with this option is the fact that you will need to pay to rent out this space, which can be quite costly, especially as the majority of these spaces are often found in cities.



Working in a public place


If all you need is a laptop to get on with work, then a public space, such as a library or café is the ideal option – you’re able to get out of the same four walls if you were working from home and you don’t have to pay rent.


Of course, if you are somewhere like a café, you will need to purchase some food or beverages and this could end up being quite expensive in the long-term. There’s also the fact that you have absolutely no control of the space, meaning that a noisy environment could be quite distracting.


A library would be the complete opposite to this, however, if you needed to make any business related calls, you wouldn’t be able to do this inside the building.



PaperRocket Accounting provide accounting and tax services to professional limited company contractors and freelancers working in the UK.


We offer our clients a choice of four all-inclusive fixed fee monthly packages which cover all of their accounting and tax needs (so no hidden costs or surprise bills!). All of our accounting packages include a monthly subscription for a cloud accounting software subscription provided by the awarding winning FreeAgent.


Each of our clients is given their own dedicated qualified accountant with unlimited access in person, telephone, or by email.


We pride ourselves on our client satisfaction and customer service and were shortlisted as 'Small Practice of the Year 2016' in the AccountingWEB practice excellence awards, as well as FSB Hertfordshire Service Excellence finalists in 2015 and 2016.


To find out how we can help you please get in touch now.


By PaperRocket Accounting, Jun 22 2017 05:00AM

The Child Benefit government allowance is an extremely useful source for many parents across the UK, however, for those earning over a specific amount this will come with a tax charge.



How does child benefit work?


Only one person can claim for Child Benefit for a child and you will normally qualify should you be responsible for a child under 16 or someone who is 20 who is partaking in ‘approved’ education or training’.


‘Being responsible’ for a child usually means that you’re either living with them or you’re paying at least the same amount as Child Benefit towards looking after them.


There are two different rates for Child Benefit:


• For the eldest or an only child it is set at a weekly rate of £20.70

• For any additional children, it is £13.70 a week.


Examples of contributions, includes:


• Money

• Clothes

• Birthday and Christmas presents

• Food

• Pocket money


Child Benefit is usually paid every four weeks, however, if you are a single parent or are getting other benefits (such as Income Support), you can request that this changes to a weekly payment.


You will stop being eligible for this benefit if:


• Your child starts paid work for 24 hours or more a week and is longer in approved education or training

• Your child starts an apprenticeship

• Your child starts getting certain benefits in their own right – this could include Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or tax credits.



High income Child Benefit tax charge


Unfortunately, if you earn over £50,000 and either:


- You or your partner get Child Benefit

- Someone else gets Child Benefit for a child living with you and they contribute at least an equal amount towards the child (even if they are not your child)


You will be affected by the tax charge and will have to include this information on your self-assessment tax return; this means HMRC will deduct 10% of your Child Benefit for every £100 that is earned over the £50,000 annual income.


If you have found that it is no longer worth claiming for Child Benefit with the amount of tax you’re paying out, then you are able to stop the process by simply filling out an online form or contacting the Child Benefit Office via phone or post.


You will however, need to ensure that you pay any tax charge that you may owe for each tax year up to the date that you stop claiming.


If you find that your circumstances change at all; say your income lowers, you have a new child or you split with your partner, then you are able to restart the benefit.



PaperRocket Accounting provide accounting and tax services to professional limited company contractors and freelancers working in the UK.


We offer our clients a choice of four all-inclusive fixed fee monthly packages which cover all of their accounting and tax needs (so no hidden costs or surprise bills!). All of our accounting packages include a monthly subscription for a cloud accounting software subscription provided by the awarding winning FreeAgent.


Each of our clients is given their own dedicated qualified accountant with unlimited access in person, telephone, or by email.


We pride ourselves on our client satisfaction and customer service and were shortlisted as 'Small Practice of the Year 2016' in the AccountingWEB practice excellence awards, as well as FSB Hertfordshire Service Excellence finalists in 2015 and 2016.


To find out how we can help you please get in touch now.


By PaperRocket Accounting, Jun 21 2017 07:13PM

There have been many recent changes with regards to the IR35 legislation, especially within the public sector.


From April 6th 2017, the new rules were set in place meaning that it is now the public sector body that is responsible for assessing a contract worker’s IR35 status… something that the contracting sector was as a whole, less than happy with.


The new ESS tool was introduced in order to help with determining a contractor’s IR35 status, however, recent research has found that many contractors are not impressed with the tool.



Employment Status Service (ESS)


This new online tool enables you to check the employment status of an individual or group of workers.


The ESS tool can be used for current or future engagements in the private or public sector, and the government recommends that you should reassess the status of the role if there are changes to the engagement or the way the work is done.


The information that you will need before taking the test includes:


• The worker’s responsibilities

• Who decides what work needs doing

• Who decides when, where and how the work’s done

• How the worker will be paid

• If the engagement includes any benefits or reimbursement for expenses


You will be asked a number of questions that will relate to your working practices, which are similar to previous IR35 status tools used in the past.


Once you have your result, you can print the information out for your own records, however, if the online test hasn’t been able to come to produce a clear answer, you will be directed to further help from HMRC.


As stated on the final page, it’s important to know that:


• HMRC won’t keep a record of this transaction for security reasons.

• HMRC will stand by the result given unless a compliance check finds the information provided isn’t accurate.

• HMRC won’t stand by results achieved through contrived arrangements designed to get a particular outcome from the service. This would be treated as evidence of deliberate non-compliance with associated higher penalties.



Contractors don’t trust the ESS Tool


Research compiled by Qdos Contractor has found that as many as 85% of the 1500 contractors surveyed do not trust the new tool after it being introduced just one month ago.


Many concerns being raised include worries about the continuous changes being made to the tool, as well as the fact that it doesn’t take the unique circumstances of each individual into consideration.


One of the few positives seems to be that it has resulted in as many as 88% of public sector bodies and agencies now contacting contractors (a 30% increase compared to before April 6th) and 62% of self-employed workers haven’t actually seen a change in their IR35 status.


Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley, commented on the findings, “That such a high proportion of contractors just don’t trust the very tool used by many public sector clients and agencies to determine their IR35 status is worrying. On release, the tool was found to give inconsistent results, and regular changes and on-the-go updates have hardly helped.”


He added, “While the majority of contractors surveyed have not seen any change to their IR35 status, that isn’t to say any tweaks made to the ESS Tool going forward won’t change the initial decision. We’re noticing that contractors undertaking very similar projects are being given completely different results, along with some blanket decisions given to entire contractor workforces. Given how much rests on this, it’s important that a fair, accurate and proper test is carried out, with each case looked at individually.


“That the vast majority of agencies and public sector employers have now contacted contractors about their IR35 changes is positive news. Clear, direct communication between the contractor, the public sector employer and – if involved – the agency can only improve the situation.”



PaperRocket Accounting provide accounting and tax services to professional limited company contractors and freelancers working in the UK.


We offer our clients a choice of four all-inclusive fixed fee monthly packages which cover all of their accounting and tax needs (so no hidden costs or surprise bills!). All of our accounting packages include a monthly subscription for a cloud accounting software subscription provided by the awarding winning FreeAgent.


Each of our clients is given their own dedicated qualified accountant with unlimited access in person, telephone, or by email.


We pride ourselves on our client satisfaction and customer service and were shortlisted as 'Small Practice of the Year 2016' in the AccountingWEB practice excellence awards, as well as FSB Hertfordshire Service Excellence finalists in 2015 and 2016.


To find out how we can help you please get in touch now.




By PaperRocket Accounting, Jun 15 2017 05:00AM


In the lead-up to the General Election, the IPSE unveiled their manifesto in front of crowds of people on London’s South Bank with campaign ads urging the government not to ‘strangle the self-employed’.


The IPSE’s (Independent Professionals and the Self Employed) manifesto ‘A Contract with the Self-Employed’ stresses the importance of the contracting sector and it’s input to the UK’s economy.


In the manifesto, it states:


• 4.8 million people are self-employed in the UK – one in seven of everyone in work

• They contribute £255 billion to the UK economy – equivalent to paying for the entire NHS twice over.


Commenting on the manifesto launch, Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO, said, “The manifesto launch was a great success, and drew a lot of attention in Central London. But it’s just the beginning of a bold and concerted campaign across the UK. We’re determined to give a voice to self-employed people right across the country and ensure the next government gives them the support and freedom they need to flourish.”


He added, “The self-employed will not be silenced. It’s not just that they make up 15% of our workforce: they’re also one of the most dynamic and productive sectors of our economy, and their contribution will be vital in the years ahead.


“IPSE has laid out firm recommendations for how the next government can support the self-employed. Knee-jerk tax hikes aren’t the answer – instead, we need a comprehensive review of the UK pension and tax systems to ensure a fair deal for the self-employed.”


The IPSE stated that the last government was closely considering how to adapt policy to this changing world of work, having commissioned Matthew Taylor to examine “modern employment”. In its last budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond initially announced increases to national insurance for sole traders before later backing down under pressure from IPSE and other groups – it is thought that these issues are likely to remain key over the next Parliament.



The IPSE Manifesto – ‘A Contract with the Self-Employed’


In the manifesto, there are key questions addressed on topics such as taxation and regulation, with a set of practical policies offered for the next government.


Key points include:


• Working on defining self-employment in law to stop exploitation and keep self-employment positive

• Ensuring fairness and efficiency by reviewing the self-employed tax system

• Fairer benefits for self-employed mothers and fathers

• Encouraging career progression and development with regards to the tax treatment of training

• Looking at creating a better pensions solution for the self-employed.


Expanding on ‘A Contract with the Self-Employed’, the IPSE have also come up with ‘A Fairer, More Efficient Tax System’ Tax manifesto and provides solutions that they believe are achievable with regards to the existing tax system.


Some of the issues that the IPSE want to focus on include:


• Not penalising the self-employed by raising Class 4 National Insurance Contributions

• Looking at creating a more fundamental and strategic review of the current tax system

• Limiting the damage caused by changes to the way IR35 works in the public sector

• Easing the transition to Making Tax Digital.



PaperRocket Accounting provide accounting and tax services to professional limited company contractors and freelancers working in the UK.


We offer our clients a choice of four all-inclusive fixed fee monthly packages which cover all of their accounting and tax needs (so no hidden costs or surprise bills!). All of our accounting packages include a monthly subscription for a cloud accounting software subscription provided by the awarding winning FreeAgent.


Each of our clients is given their own dedicated qualified accountant with unlimited access in person, telephone, or by email.


We pride ourselves on our client satisfaction and customer service and were shortlisted as 'Small Practice of the Year 2016' in the AccountingWEB practice excellence awards, as well as FSB Hertfordshire Service Excellence finalists in 2015 and 2016.


To find out how we can help you please get in touch now.

By PaperRocket Accounting, Jun 12 2017 07:46PM

With the hyped lead-up to the General Election, it all seemed a bit of an anti-climax when the UK was left still feeling unsure of what the result was and who was to actually lead our country.


As expected, it was the Conservatives and Labour that came top but with Labour gaining more support than most people thought they would (including Theresa May!).


On the day of the result, IPSE’s Director of Policy Simon McVicker reacted to the news, saying, “After what was, for many, an unexpected outcome, it is imperative that a new government is formed quickly so we can begin Brexit negotiations on the strongest possible footing.


“The Government needs to bring certainty and clarity to our negotiation position on Brexit as soon as possible. The current uncertainty can only be damaging to our hopes of negotiating the strongest possible exit deal from the EU.


He added, “When negotiations are underway, the self-employed must be central on the government’s agenda and IPSE will engage closely with them to achieve this. The Government must ensure a flexible economy is crucial in their thinking for the post-Brexit world


“While the planning for a hung parliament may have been unexpected, the possibility of another election and the uncertainty that it will bring is now more than likely. We urge the politicians to put the interest of the UK first and to continue to create the environment for the self-employed to thrive in.”



Contractors feel ‘unsupported’ by government


Interestingly, research carried out before the General Election found that the self-employed had no confidence in the government, with 97% of contractors surveyed saying that they don’t believe that the government has their best interests at heart.


The survey of 1356 contractors, carried out by Qdos Contractor found that despite their view on the government (before the General Election), many were still planning on voting Conservative.


The findings show that:


• 42% planned to vote Conservative

• 14% Labour

• 21% Liberal Democrat

• 3% UKIP

• 3% Green Party

• 16% wanted to vote for one of the UK’s other main Parties – or not at all.


At the time of writing, the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionists were still in discussion with regards to making an agreement on how the two parties will work together.


For the meantime the self-employed and the rest of the country will have to continue to wait and see what the outcome of this is and how it will affect them in the short and long-term.



PaperRocket Accounting provide accounting and tax services to professional limited company contractors and freelancers working in the UK.


We offer our clients a choice of four all-inclusive fixed fee monthly packages which cover all of their accounting and tax needs (so no hidden costs or surprise bills!). All of our accounting packages include a monthly subscription for a cloud accounting software subscription provided by the awarding winning FreeAgent.


Each of our clients is given their own dedicated qualified accountant with unlimited access in person, telephone, or by email.


We pride ourselves on our client satisfaction and customer service and were shortlisted as 'Small Practice of the Year 2016' in the AccountingWEB practice excellence awards, as well as FSB Hertfordshire Service Excellence finalists in 2015 and 2016.


To find out how we can help you please get in touch now.



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