Contractor Chat

Contracting can be a complicated business; going limited or taking the umbrella route, dispensations, employment costs, expense claims to name a few... it's no wonder that people get confused. So don't just take our word for it. ContractorUmbrella take a look at current trends in the contractor market and what questions the contractors are asking. All the questions shown are taken from ContractorUK, the home for the UK's IT contracting community.


Working with AWR/IR35

Posted on 9th April 2013

I have been offered a contract that is AWR compliant and therefore inside IR35 as it will offer staff benefits such as paid holidays and bonus etc. There is no rewording option its sign or walk away. So having hit the calculators and working on some very rough estimations of what the benefits may be worth it seems that they should offset the tax hit by between 50 to 90% depending on whether a bonus (and how much) will be paid etc. I was just wondering if anyone out there works like this inside of IR35/AWR and how they actually find the experience in real life and how much they find the extra tax is offset by the AWR benefits? So far I have only ever worked through my Ltd co on standard business to business contracts so have never encountered AWR and its impact.


Contracting for my previous employer

Posted on 26th March 2013

I've been contracting for about three months. I've been offered a contract with with my previous employer (I was permanent with them for six months). The contract is with an agency, not direct. If I took the contract, do you think I could be considered to be within IR35? Any contract with the agent I'd run past an accountant to make sure it was IR35 friendly.


HMRC Enquiries EBT - Castlemaine

Posted 11th March 2013

At the beginning of February I received a letter from HMRC asking for unpaid taxes related to an EBT for the year 2008/9. I managed to get in touch with Castlemaine and I received a mail from Audacia letting me know that they will put in place an appeal.


Umbrella Companies: New to Contracting

Posted 6th March 2013

I am new to this forum, I have been reading through the forums and decided I need to post. I am due to start work next week and have registered with an Umbrella Company, this is the first time I've used them and have to say after reading through some of the posts on this forums it has saved me from making a possibly huge mistake.


HMRC Enquiries for EBT Schemes through Kinsella Solutions Ltd

Posted 6th March 2013

This thread is for those who have recently received a Discovery Assessment from HMRC for loans made via an EBT in 2008/9 using Kinsella Solutions Ltd. I received notification March 1st of HMRC discovery. Would be interested in teaming up with anyone using the scheme and had the same letter. Like the other threads it seems we need to lodge an appeal and then align with all the other good advice.


Not used tax free allowance - Advised Umbrella

Posted 5th March 2013

Hi everyone, newbie to contracting!! I've recently returned from a year travelling abroad. This means I haven't yet used up any of my £8k tax free allowance. I've been recruited into a contract role to which I had planned on being self employed and submitting my own tax returns etc. However, I was pretty much steamrollered into joining the Umbrella company (Go Umbrella) by the recruitment agent. It was a very fast turnaround, I was fresh back from travelling and he assured me it would be the easiest and most cost efficient way of getting paid. He said charges would be about a "tenner a week", which I thought was fine.


HMRC Scheme Enquiries - Useful Links

Posted 26th February 2013

This thread provides useful links to contractors on recent HMRC Scheme Enquiries, inlcuding EBT Settlement Opportunities, HMRC Time Limits, HMRC Appeals and much more.


Talent Resource Management EBT Scheme

Posted 25th February 2013

For people who used The "Talent Resource Management" scheme and have either recently received the class of 08/09 invite or are already under the kosh due to an existing COP8 enquiry.


Parasol Expenses Cover Sheet

Posted 9th December 2012

Unfortunately I found this forum after I joined Parasol and started my assignment. I took a read of my expenses sheet and I'm quite concerned about what they want me to sign.


Why won't Umbrella accept my travel expenses?

Posted 28th July 2012

Hi, I was considering going Umbrella and got a quote. When they asked what expenses I would be claiming, they said I couldn't claim mileage as the workplace was temprorary? Of course it is, I'm contracting !!! I thought I could claim 45p a mile as expenses - has this been changed / tightened?


Curious PAYE figure on first payslip

Posted 12th December 2012

I have recently taken on my first contractor role after being permanent for several years. I opted to go down the umbrella route and after speaking to 3 or 4 companies, I decided to go with Parasol (yup, I've since found all the horror stories!). I had used several "take home pay" calculators and done the sums myself to get a good idea of what my take home pay would be. I even got a couple of breakdowns from Parasol and Contractor Umbrella specific to my circumstances, and they both came back with similar amounts which was reassuring.


Is Umbrella Company Right For Me?

Posted 13th November 2012

I've been working for RBS for the past 6 months as an IT Contractor. The agency i work for is Hays Recruitment. They also pay me direct. My contract renewal is coming up and have been told to switch over to an umbrella company by quite a few of my colleagues but i just wanted to know if is worth my time and also would it benefit me. I have looked through a few companies and i've seen one called GoUmbrella which looks quite simple to use and cheap regarding fee's. Another is Parasol which seems to have good feedback but the fee's they charge seem pretty expensive.


Advice on the 2 year rule

Posted 14th November 2012

I am fairly new to contracting and i am contracting through an Umbrella company. I began my current contract in Jan 2011 and this was my 1st contract position since leaving a perm job (with a different company - based in Liverpool actually). The company I am contracting for has just extended my current contract (without a pay rise i might add - no pay rise at all since i started...) which means i will now exceed the 2 year 'temporary' workplace rule and thereby preventing me claiming back any further expenses. I am a bit confused tbh...


Not sure, Umbrella or Ltd?

Posted 22nd November 2012

Hi All, been offered my first contract and don't know whether to use an Umbrella Company or start a Limited Company. My agent suggested that I use a company who does something with off shore tax havens or something but I didn't understand it. He told me it was risk free and I would get 84.5% of my rate back with no tax or something. I'm sure someone on this forum must have heard of all this stuff before and would appreciate some advice.


New Umbrella Company needed!

Posted 25th October 2012

Hi, I'm currently using Parasol as an umbrella company but am thinking of changing for various reasons. Does anyone have any recommendations? I've been looking at Crystal Umbrella which is top of the league table according to freelancesupermarket.com but I'm not sure if they're any good or even reliable. Does anyone know?


Umbrella Contracting Booby Trap - I fell straight into it.

Posted 19th July 2012

So, the other issue I've experienced with umbrella contracting is the following. I agreed that I was to work through Parasol with my employer agency (I work for an recruitment agency, in house, delivering some marketing related projects) on the basis of a pay of £34K p.a. pro rata. This was converted to a day-rate of £130.77. The payment was agreed to be made monthly. The agency uploaded the contract to Parasol, but somehow failed to instruct Parasol to set me up on a per-month basis. Parasol didn't bother asking and put me on a weekly schedule by default.


Another Consulting Overseas Victim

Posted 14th February 2008

I contracted through this lot between 2003-4 and since then have been out of the UK. Just received a Notice of Further assessment from HMRC "Special Civil Investigations" department for approx 20K for the year to April 2004. Interest is also payable (although not detailed) from Jan 05 and a "surcharge" may also be payable. I tried to telephone/email Consulting Overseas but the phone goes to voicemail and the emails bounced. So ..... anyone know anything? When I signed up they said the scheme was watertight .. had been approved by their tax lawyers etc.. etc.. Obviously not! Will now be on the hunt for an accountant/lawyer I guess (any recommendations?) but wondered if anyone had any advice or news?