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Compliance has always been a primary consideration for recruiters when working with umbrella companies but with recent changes to legislation, it has become more important and, in many ways, more onerous. In a surprising move HMRC have significantly increased recruiters’ workload, passing the burden of responsibility for PAYE payments to any agency placing a candidate who has chosen to work with an offshore umbrella company. There may be several recruitment agencies in the chain, due to clients operating preferred supplier lists, but the onus to ensure tax compliance will still fall on the agency that is contracted with the client.

Lisa Keeble, MD of Contractor Umbrella Ltd and Co-founder of All Umbrella Companies are Equal feels that this is an unfair burden to place on recruiters who are at risk of falling foul of the new legislation without realising it. Therefore, she is taking unprecedented steps to ensure that recruiters working with Contractor Umbrella Ltd will not need to concern themselves with this compliance issue.

Firstly, Contractor Umbrella Ltd will provide copies of the Full Payment Submissions that have been made to HMRC, subject to Data Protection requirements, which detail the Income Tax and National Insurance contributions made by the company for each of the recruiters’ contractors. In this way recruiters will have irrefutable proof that they will have no tax liability whatsoever when they work with Contractor Umbrella Ltd.

Secondly, Lisa Keeble is offering all recruiters the opportunity to audit Contractor Umbrella’s working practices. This open invitation has been offered because, whilst PSL applications can be very valuable, they do not necessarily reflect what happens in practice.

“I believe that recruiters should be able to convince themselves, beyond doubt, that the umbrella companies they chose to work with will be completely compliant and will guarantee service levels to both contractors and consultants which are of the same high standard as those offered by the recruiters themselves. I am happy to invite any recruiter to examine my business operation and to take the time to discuss compliance, their requirements and how best we can aid their company moving forward”

Lisa is supported by her compliance manager, Roger Westlake, who is an ex-HMRC tax inspector and by the contacts that she has made at HMRC as part of her work with All Umbrella Companies Are Equal.

“Working with Robin Wythes, policy advisor at HMRC, has been invaluable in confirming that the processes we have in place are compliant with HMRC requirements”.

Lisa also contributed towards the roundtable event hosted by HMRC on offshore umbrella intermediaries in October; a copy of the consultation can be viewed here.

Any recruiter wanting to receive copies of FPS submissions or wanting to arrange an audit inspection or compliance meeting can contact Lisa direct at

Lisa Keeble is the Managing Director for Contractor Umbrella Ltd, one of the UK’s Most Respected Umbrella Companies and founder member of AllUmbrellaCompaniesAreEqual.
Learn more about Lisa on Google.


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