Umbrella Companies for Public Sector Contractors – IR35 Choice

Umbrella Companies for Public Sector Contractors

Umbrella Companies for Public Sector Contractors

We are now seeing a massive take-up of umbrella companies for public sector contractors.

This is due to the Government changing the rules for contractors who work in the private sector.

They have now taken the IR35 decision out of contractors hands and it is the Government department who will now decide a contractor’s status.

The contractor can appeal this – to HMRC.

(Pause for a chuckle)

New Online HMRC IR35 Test

HMRC are telling us that they are devising an online IR35 test which will show whether a contractor is inside IR35 or outside it.

Of course, it will do nothing of the kind.

It is the laws of the land and the courts which decide that.

They have already told us that they are going to ‘cheat’ with this test.

Even before they have unveiled it they are telling us that they expect 90% of contractors to fail it.

How can that be?

Currently more than 90% of contractors are OUTSIDE IR35.

Indeed, when HMRC investigate contractors for IR35 they have a very low success rate.

And they must surely be picking what they see as the likeliest candidates.

Keep Using Their Personal Service Companies

Of course, most public sector contractors would prefer to keep using their personal service companies.

However, they are taking a big risk if they ask to sit the online IR35 test to try to prove their status.

The results are relayed to HMRC.

If the contractor fails the IR35 test, and has previously been using a personal service company on previous contracts, he, or she, is a prime target for investigation.

Government Picking on Contractors in the Public Sector

It’s easier for the Government to attack contractors in the public sector than in the private sector.

To hit those in the private sector they have to change the IR35 legislation.

Then they might have to fight long battles in the courts.

With public sector contractors they can just change their ‘house rules’.

After all, employers can make any rules they want when hiring contractors.

No Longer Taking Contractors Using Personal Service Companies

Some Government departments are now taking the easy way out and saying that they will no longer take on contractors using personal service companies.

The news on contractor websites has been about the number of contractors who have either quit the public sector because of this, or who plan to before it comes in during early April.

Umbrella Companies for Public Sector Contractors Option

However, an even bigger story is about the number of contractors who are dumping their personal service companies and going en masse to umbrella companies.

There is a big sudden uptake in umbrella companies for public sector contractors.

Sudden Demand for Umbrella Companies

Another contractor website owner told us that he was snowed under by public sector contractors wanting umbrella companies.

A provider of umbrella company services told us that they are snowed under too.

They are telling us that they are getting one contractor applying to join them from a public sector department and then getting the contact details from him, or her, of other contractors in the department who want them to contact them about joining them.

It’s an absolute stampede of public sector contractors out of PSCs and into umbrella companies.

Many more are doing this than leaving the public sector.

I’m sure that many more of them would like to quit.

Public Sector Business and Systems Knowledge

However, the reality is that their skills and business knowledge pertain to the public sector and they are not going to be at the front of the queue for contracts with banks, telecoms companies or oil companies.

So, for many, the reality of the situation is that they have to join umbrella companies.

And that is what most are doing in their hundreds and thousands.

It looks like it is umbrella companies for public sector contractors now for the most part.

Ad – Simply Umbrella – Simply the Best

New umbrella product Simply Umbrella came into being to solve this problem.

It adheres to all the new tax rules. They created it after the Chancellor’s spring statement.

It’s just like other umbrella companies in that the contractor is an employee of Simply Umbrella but they get to keep far more of their money than through an ordinary umbrella company.

It could be a great solution for both public sector contractors IR35 problems and indeed any contractor.

To find out more just click on Simply Umbrella.

Or simply fill in the form below and they will be in touch.

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Offshore Umbrella Company Returns

offshore umbrella company list

Offshore Umbrella Company Returns

So, what are the offshore umbrella company returns on your hard-earned cash compared to other options?

First of all, what are the other options?

Firstly, you can just pay up on your IR35 tax. Secondly you can operate through a Limited Company (or Personal Service Company). Thirdly you can operate through a PAYE Umbrella Company. Finally, you can operate through an offshore umbrella company.

Offshore Umbrella Company

Offshore Umbrella Company Returns can vary anywhere between 85% and 90%, depending on your income. Using offshore umbrella companies are by far the best method of keeping most of your money.

So, if you earned £100,000 you would expect to keep £85,000 to £90,000 of the money you earn.

Limited Company (Personal Service Company)

This is the next best option. However, you would still be £10,000 to £15,000 down than the offshore umbrella company returns. You would expect to keep around 75% of your money. So, you would keep around £75,000 if you earned £100,000.

Onshore Umbrella Company

Using a normal onshore umbrella company would let you keep around 60% of the money you earn. This means you would keep around £60,000 of the £100,000 you earned.

PAYE Operator

If you pay the IR35 tax or use normal PAYE, you would get back around £55,000 of £100,000 that you earned.

There are many reasons for using one or the other. However, if it is a bean count, and you are just going for the most lucrative option then the offshore umbrella company returns of up to £90,000 makes it a no-brainer for contractors.

You could be keeping up to £30,000 a year more by using an offshore umbrella company rather than using a normal onshore umbrella company. That mounts up over time. That money escapes you.

To find out more about offshore umbrella company returns you should click on Offshore Umbrella Company Directory

offshore umbrella company list

Offshore Umbrella Company List

Favourite Umbrella Companies for UK Contractors

Favourite Umbrella Companies

Favourite Umbrella Companies

Many people have their favourite umbrella companies. That’s especially true for agencies who tend to only include those umbrella companies on their Preferred Supplier List who give them bungs for sending contractors their way.

The 2010 Bribery Act bans this but it happens.

However, that’s another story.

So, what constitutes a favourite umbrella company?

Dodgy Umbrella Companies

Firstly, one that doesn’t try to con you in the contract.

Make sure you read the contract and if you see any clause detailing any penalties for leaving the umbrella company, run a mile.

Umbrella Company Recommendations for UK Contractors

Umbrella Company Recommendations for UK Contractors

If they are being sneaky and duplicitous in the beginning that’s because they are, well, sneaky and duplicitous.

If you go with that umbrella company you really have started off on the wrong foot.

Umbrella Company Recommended by Agency

So, should you go with the umbrella company recommended by your agency?

You would if you were an idiot.

There’s almost certainly one reason, and only one reason, that your agency are recommending a particular umbrella company to you and that is that they expect to get a fee from the umbrella company for every contractor that they send them.

What about that then?

Too many contractors think of their agency as their agents, e.g. like the Mr. Ten Percents in the Acting and Football professions, who look after their clients’ interests.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

‘Your agent’ wants to extract as much money as he, or she, can from you. If they can possibly take half of the rate that is paid by the client for you then they would happily take it without any scruples.

Umbrella Company Preferred Supplier Lists

If your agency demand that you use a particular umbrella company, or an umbrella company on their Preferred Supplier List, you should refuse to do so.

If they tell you that you have to, ask them to put that in writing and see how they react.

It is illegal under the 2010 Bribery Act for agencies to induce contractors to join a particular umbrella company for a fee.

Don’t worry about standing up to them.

Umbrella Company Costs

Umbrella Company Costs for UK contractors

They won’t dump you. The main fee you get for them is the margin they get on your weekly earnings.

The bung the umbrella company give them is just a bit extra on the side.

They are not going to reject the main course for a little dessert.

Your Favourite Umbrella Companies

Your favourite umbrella companies should pay you weekly and pay you on receipt of your timesheets.

Certainly run a mile from an umbrella company who say “we’ll pay you when we get paid” or make you wait for payment.

Many umbrella companies pay you straight away so use one of them.

Umbrella Company Fees

Before you join an umbrella company, examine the fees they charge and what you get for that.

Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest. Go for the best service at the best price. Look at what they are throwing in.

Umbrella Company Fees and charges

Umbrella Company Fees and charges for using them

See, if they throw in are any insurances like Professional Indemnity Insurance.

They can purchase these insurances in bulk so they can get them for you more cheaply than if you applied for the insurances yourself.

Tax Deductible Umbrella Company Expenses

One thing that is very important, if they are to be among your favourite umbrella companies, is to find out of they’ll help you to claim expenses as tax-deductible – and what expenses you can claim.

You can more than cover the cost of your umbrella company fees by setting expenses off against tax.

Umbrella Company contractors already pay an average of £10,000 a year more in tax and national insurance contributions than a personal service company contractor does.

Don’t make it even worse by not offsetting your expenses against tax.

Umbrella Company Contractors Who Don’t Claim Expenses

I was astonished to find that between 50% and 60% of umbrella company contractors don’t claim any expenses at all.

That would increase the tax differential between umbrella company contractors and personal service company contractors to perhaps £15,000.

Soon you’ll be talking real money.

Travel and Subsistence Expenses

From April 2016, umbrella company contractors are longer be able to offset travel and subsistence expenses against tax if they are Supervised, Controlled and Directed by their client when working for them.

It would be relatively easy for you to change your contract and working practices to make it  so that you aren’t Supervised, Controlled and Directed by the client.

Umbrella Company Comparison

Umbrella Company Comparison for UK contractors

If the client previously gave you a piece of work, told you how long it should take and told you how to do it, supervised you doing it and where you should do it, negotiate a change in the contract and working practice here.

Supervision, Direction and Control

You are an experienced contractor.

Agree the piece of work to be delivered by the client and get the agreement signed off. Do the same with the estimate for the project. Agree that and get the agreement signed off. Agree where it is best done, at your home office or at the client’s site and document that agreement.

You surely don’t need to be supervised in doing the task. When the task is delivered ask your customer to give you a signed acceptance on what you have delivered to them.

If your umbrella company won’t give you advice on how to get these expenses offset against tax after April 2016 it may be because they don’t want you to be Unsupervised, Uncontrolled and Undirected.

They may not want not to change your contract to reflect your new way of working.

Outside IR35

Why, would they not want to do this?

One good reason, from their point of view, is that Supervision, Control and Direction is one of the three major planks of IR35.

The other two major planks are the Right of Supervision and Mutuality of Obligations, i.e. the obligation for them to pay you for turning up and for them to pay you whether there is work for you or not.

IR35 and UK Contractors - Inside or Otsideu

IR35 and UK Contractors and the tax they pay

If you are able to get outside the first plank of IR35, i.e. Supervision, Direction and Control, and you enter a Right of Substitution clause in your contract, then you are only a very short step away from being outside IR35 altogether – and not have to lose all that money each year by being in an umbrella company.

Maybe that’s why many umbrella companies are not too bothered about their contractors not claiming any expenses at all against tax.

Onshore or Offshore Umbrella Companies

Of course, the favourite umbrella companies for contractors could be either onshore ones or offshore umbrella companies.

The average IT Contractor earns £425 a day. That equates to around £100,000 a year once you take out time off.

An onshore PAYE umbrella company contractor would keep somewhere between £60,000 and £65,000 in tax and NI contributions.

Offshore Schemes for UK contractors to save tax

Offshore Schemes for UK contractors to save tax

An offshore umbrella company contractor would keep somewhere between 85% and 90%, depending on circumstances, mostly on what they earn.

Umbrella Company Alternatives

So, the offshore umbrella company contractor could be keeping as much as £40,000 more than an onshore umbrella company contractor – particularly one who doesn’t claim any expenses.

Other alternatives to onshore umbrella companies include Tax Efficient Limited Companies for Contractors.

Both return £85% or more to contractors.

Umbrella Company Contractors Options – Will They Now Swap to PSCs?

umbrella companies dilemma on supervision, direction and control

Umbrella Company Contractors Options

Now that the Chancellor has ruled that umbrella company contractors options can no longer include offsetting travel and subsistence expenses against tax, will they jump ship, en masse, and use personal service companies now?

Umbrella Companies have been disappointed that this has hit them but not those using personal service companies.

However, it could have been much worse for umbrella companies.

Umbrella Company Definition

Umbrella Company Definition – offshore and onshore

Abolishing Intermediaries

There had been rumours that the Chancellor was going to abolish intermediaries altogether.

He saw intermediaries as umbrella companies and personal service companies.

According to the leaks contractors were going to be on their client’s payroll once they had bene there for a month.

This rumour was changed to being only those contractors who are caught by IR35.

When it came to the Autumn Statement, and the 2016 Finance Bill, there was nothing in it at all about it and umbrella companies were most relieved.

That was an existential threat whereas this may cost them some contractors?

Mass Exodus from Umbrella Companies into PSCs?

Will there now be a mass exodus from umbrella companies into personal service companies?

Will umbrella companies lose all their contractors?

There was already a massive difference in he amount of tax and national insurance contributions paid by personal service company contractors and umbrella company contractors.

£10,000 to £15,000 a Year Difference in Tax

It’s reckoned that there would be a difference of around £10,000 a year for an IT Contractor making the average daily rate of £425 a day.

With limited company contractors still able to claim for travel and subsistence, this could rise to as much as £15,000 a year.

So, surely most of them will jump ship now?

After all, the expenses that they are able to save against tax may well be less than the amount that they now have to pay the umbrella in fees each month basically just to pay them.

Umbrella Company Contractors Options now

Umbrella Company Contractors Options lime Limited Partnerships

Most Don’t Claim Expenses

However, it seems that perhaps the majority of umbrella company contractors don’t even claim any expenses against tax in the first place.

According to giant, around 60% of their contractors don’t claim any expenses at all.

I’d seen figures of more than 50% elsewhere.

Most contractors don’t follow contractor websites.

Those that don’t and who are in umbrella companies and who don’t claim expenses will, therefore, not notice any difference.

They won’t even know what happened.

Staying With Umbrella Company

So, the vast majority of them will continue with their umbrella companies.

You could say that 50% to 60% of contractors are ‘in the bag’ for umbrella companies.

That would leave, 40% to 50% of umbrella company contractors who have been claiming expenses.

This is the vulnerable group for the brollies.

Giant reckon that “most of these are professional contractors who will be able to demonstrate that there is no supervision, direction or control over them and therefore continue to claim travel and subsistence”.

Danger They Might Join Personal Service Companies

There is a danger here, though, for giant and other umbrella companies. If those contractors can prove that they are not supervised, controlled and directed by their client company, then they may well be outside IR35.

Supervision, Direction and Control is one of the three major IR35 factors that point to being inside IR35.

If those contractors can prove they are outside that, some of them may decide to go the whole hog and save another ten grand  a year by using a personal service company instead.

That is the danger for umbrella companies.

Umbrella Company Recommendations for UK Contractors

Umbrella Company Recommendations for UK Contractors

No Existential Threat in 2016

It doesn’t look now, though, as if here is no existential threat to umbrella companies 2016.

Any further changes would be unlikely to take effect till April 2017 now.

So, how many of those 40% to 50% of umbrella company contractors who currently do claim expenses, will go?

Probably not that many will leave.

If they are not now able to claim travel and subsistence expenses against tax because they fail under the supervision, direction and control test, they are almost certainly caught by IR35 and have nowhere else to go anyway.

They cannot operate through personal service companies if that is the case.

Claiming Travel and Subsistence

So, what about those who can still claim travel and subsistence expenses against tax?

Surely, nothing changes for them.

They may well have been outside IR35 before but still chose to use an umbrella company.

Some of those did that because they did not want to take the chance of an IR35 investigation.

Others did that because they didn’t want the admin of running their own company.

So, surely not much will have changed for them.

Keeping Their Contractors

So. it looks as if umbrella companies will keep virtually all of those who didn’t claim expenses.

It will surely keep all of those who are caught by SDC and almost certainly IR35.

It will also keep most of those who can still claim expenses as they are not under SD and C.

The only ones that they might lose are those who might become more aware of the possibility of their being outside IR35 because they have had to pass the SDC test to continue to get their expenses.

Umbrella Company Contractors Options are not limited.

However, it looks as if probably 95% or more of umbrella company contractors will remain with their umbrella companies.

It may be a little harder when it comes to getting new contractors into the umbrella companies but this is a nuisance to umbrella companies rather than being an existential threat.

They will survive!

Umbrella Companies Dilemma over Supervision, Direction and Control

umbrella companies dilemma on supervision, direction and control

Umbrella Companies Dilemma

The Chancellor Osborne’s Autumn Statement and 2016 Finance Bill has caused a huge umbrella companies dilemma.

The Chancellor has said that all Umbrella Company contractors will be deemed to be under the Supervision, Control and Direction of their clients – unless it can be proved otherwise.

This would mean that they are no longer able to offset travel and subsistence expenses against tax.

As this is the main expense that umbrella companies can claim for their contractors, it means that their contractors are going to take a huge hit in their pockets.

Umbrella Companies will have to tell contractors this before April and before they notice a huge chunk mission from the money returned to them.

Umbrella Company Expenses

Umbrella Company Expenses explained

Leaving Umbrella Companies or Staying

It will also mean that many of those contractors will have a decision to make, whether to stay with their brolly or to take themselves out of IR35 and use a personal service company.

Some contractors will stay and some will go.

They have to pay upwards of £100 a month to umbrella companies, basically just to pay them.

This was offset by what they would save on an Accountant and even more by what the umbrella company could offset in taxes for them.

What they gained was more than they paid out to the umbrella company.

So, it was worthwhile for them to stay in the umbrella company rather than pay the IR35 tax.

Autumn Statement and Finance Bill

However, that situation has now changed after the Autumn Statement and Finance Bill 2016.

The main expense they could offset against tax was the travel and subsistence expenses.

That will be gone from April 2016.

So, many umbrella company contractors will now be paying the umbrella companies more than they are saving in tax.

The contractors will have a decision to make and so do the umbrella companies.

Umbrella Company News UK Contractors need

Umbrella Company News for UK contractors

Changing the Contract for SDC

However, the brollies will now have a dilemma.

Should the umbrella companies try to take contractors outside the Supervision, Direction and Control of clients?

In terms of the contract this should not be too hard to do.

The contract would say that for any task, or piece of work, the client would have to agree this with the contractor.

They would have to agree the estimate too.

Employers tell permanent workers what to do and how long it should take. Suppliers, with a contract for services, would agree with their customer what should be delivered and when.

Changing Contractors Working Practices

As I said, it would be easy enough to change contracts to reflect this. After all, umbrella companies normally have a cosy relationship with agencies who supply them with contractors.

Providing the client is reasonable, and most are, they would be happy to change the contractor’s working practice to match the contract.

Both parties would agree the piece of work,  as would the estimate. The contractor would complete the task unsupervised, using his, or her, own knowledge and experience.

Of course, they are taking a bit of a risk. If they got it wrong they could get hit for the missing tax.

However, theres is no reason to get it wrong,

It’s fairly simple. The contract HAS changed. The relationship between the contractor and the client HAS changed to a customer / supplier relationship in terms of agreeing what has to be delivered and the time it should take.

So, it is not fraudulent. It is just a fact – a change way of working.

Working through Umbrella Companies

Working through Umbrella Companies for maximum returns

Umbrella Company Options and Choice

So, here’s the umbrella companies dilemma.

Here is their Catch-22.

If they do help the contractor to be unsupervised, working without direction and uncontrolled by the client, this would get the contractor his travel and subsistence expenses back again.

That might save him, or her, £5,000 a year.

It might make it more worthwhile to stay with the umbrella company.

Contractor Now Outside IR35

However, it would also take him, or her, closer to being outside of IR35.

This would mean that he, or she, could now work through a personal service company.

Personal service company contractors pay an average of £10,000 a year less in tax than an umbrella company contractor.

There are three main IR35 factors which point to you being caught by IR35 or outside it.

Major IR35 Factors

They are:-

1 Supervision, Direction and Control

2 The Right of Substitution

3 Mutuality of Obligation

IR35 and UK Contractors - Inside or Otsideu

IR35 and UK Contractors and the tax they pay

Right of Substitution Contract Clause

We know, from a previous court case, that you can easily insert the right of substitution into your contract and a named substitute and that the burden of proof is with HMRC to prove that it was a sham.

They could only do that if the client triggered the substitute clause and the substitute failed to show up. That court verdict must have had HMRC gnashing their teeth.

So, of the three main pointers to IR35, putting a right of substitution clause that will never be triggered into your contract would allow you to tick that box.

The umbrella company has just helped the contractor to be outside the Supervision, Direction and Control IR35 factor.

So, the contractor is able to tick off two of the three main IR35 boxes.

Keeping More of a Contractor’s Income

He, or she, would naturally think “Maybe I can get outside IR35 and set up a personal service company so that I could save not just the £5,000 for travel and subsistence but also another £10,000 a year on top of that”.

So, that is the umbrella companies dilemma.

Should they arrange with the agencies and clients to change the contracts fo some of their contractors to take them outside the Supervision, Direction and Control clause?

This would mean that they could still claim their travel and subsistence expenses which might come to more than the monthly fee that the contractor pays to the umbrella company?

Intermediaries Rules for Contractors

Intermediaries Rules for Contractors over IR35

Big Question for Contractor Umbrella Companies

The big question for them is this:-

Will getting contractors outside Supervision, Direction and Control of the client be more likely to get umbrella companies contractors to stay with them or be more likely to show them how it is done and make it easier for them to leave the umbrella and set up a personal service company.

That’s the 64 million dollar question for umbrella companies.

They are going to have to decide, before April, whether they are going to open that box or keep it shut.

They are going to have to decide whether to twist or stick.

That is the umbrella companies dilemma and they need an answer to it well before April.

So, what will they do?

I’m absolutely certain which option they will take – but that is for another article.

Umbrella Company Alternatives

If they don’t answer it correctly, contractors could jump ship to Limited Companies or Offshore Umbrella Companies.

Tax Efficient Limited Partnerships

Tax Efficient Limited Partnerships for UK contractors

 

Finance Bill 2016 – How Contractors Affected by Chancellor

Finance Bill 2015 contractor effects

Finance Bill 2016

So, how will UK contractors be affected by Chancellor George Osborne’s Finance Bill 2016, the details of which he will announce on Wednesday afternoon?

UK contractors felt that they dodged a bullet in the Chancellor’s Autumn statement a couple of weeks ago.

Chancellor’s Leaks and Rumours affecting Contractors

Prior to that there had been statements from the Chancellor, leaks and rumours that:-

  1. He would take away the right of both umbrella company and personal service company contractors to be able to offset travel and subsistence expenses against tax.
  2. He would force clients, who hired contractors for more than a month, i.e. virtually all contractors, to take those contractors onto their payroll. He called these contractors off payroll employees – which shows what he really thinks of them
  3. He, with HMRC, was devising a new online IR35 test. Clients would make contractors sit this new online IR35 test. If they passed it they could operate as normal as contractors. If they failed it they would have to go on the client company’s payroll. HMRC would also keep the results of failed online tests for future reference
Finance Bill 2015 and Contractors

Finance Bill 2015 and how it affects Contractors

Chancellor Osborne’s Autumn Statement

When the Chancellor read his Autumn Statement, most of these were missing.

The only one that was there was only partially there.

He  would still stop contractors who are caught by the Intermediaries legislation (IR35), i.e. umbrella company contractors, from offsetting travel and subsistence expenses against tax.

However, those not caught by IR35, i.e. personal service company contractors, would still be able to offset travel and subsistence expenses against tax.

Chancellor Finds Extra Tax

In a press release, IPSE (ex-PCG) claimed that as a great victory for they, and their members, lobbying efforts beforehand.

This may be true. However, another factor could have been that the Treasury suddenly found an extra £27 billion in tax receipts, which they would get in the next year, meaning that the Chancellor needed less tax money.

This, and the Lords defeat, may have been why the Chancellor changed his mind on Tax Credits.

It may, also, be a reason why he pulled back out the triple threat above.

However, there is a third possibility.

Finance Bill 2015 as it affects contractors

Finance Bill 2016 and its effect on contractors

Anti-Contractor Measures in Finance Bill

That is that he is going to introduce the measure in his Finance Bill which he will produce on December 9th.

Contractors are not out of the woods, or murky water, yet.

It would seem unlikely that the Chancellor will stop personal service company contractors claiming travel and subsistence expenses against tax after saying he wouldn’t a couple of weeks earlier.

Umbrella Company Threat

However, there may be some truth in he second and third threats, i.e. forcing contractors caught by IR35 onto a client company’s payroll rather than using an umbrella company.

That would be an existential threat to umbrella companies.

Good Umbrella Companies Contractors

Good Umbrella Companies Contractors prefer

He may use the Finance Bill 2016 to announce this measure and may use it to announce a new IR35 test which has legal bearing as well.

The life of UK contractors, since IR35 was brought in, has been a constant worry.

December 9th is the next date for contractors to worry about.

Umbrella Company Reviews – Offshore Umbrella Companies

Umbrella Company Reviews for Contractors

Umbrella Company Reviews

Contractors often ask us for Umbrella Company Reviews. We are happy to oblige.

There are two types of Umbrella Company. There are offshore umbrella companies and there are onshore umbrella companies.

The Umbrella Companies HMRC prefer are the onshore umbrella companies. That’s because they get more tax from them.

Tax Avoidance Measures

So, Offshore Umbrella Companies are tax avoidance – but legal tax avoidance. They allow the contractor to keep from 80% to 90% of his, or her, money earned.

Contractors choose an umbrella company or a limited company. The Limited company options returns more to the contractor than the onshore umbrella company. However, offshore umbrella companies return the most.

We have offshore umbrella company lists and onshore umbrella company lists on other pages on this website.

Umbrella Companies Explained

Many of the offshore umbrella companies operate from the Isle of Man.

Onshore Umbrella Companies allow contractors to lay some expenses off against tax. The top umbrella companies are the safe ones.

Contractors can claim travel expenses and overnight expenses against tax as well as a few other things like pension contributions.

Umbrella Company Reviews and recommendations

Umbrella Company Reviews offshore and onshore

Umbrella Company Reviews and Comparisons

With an onshore company you would probably keep about 60% to 65% of the money you earned. With a Limited Company it would be maybe around 75%. With the offshore companies you would keep from 80% to 90%.

There are also companies which operate like the offshore ones but are onshore. They allow contractors to still use their limited companies.

Sometimes, agencies try to steer contractors towards particular umbrella companies. However, the suspicion is that they get commission from doing this. This is illegal under the 2010 Bribery Act – but they still do it.

Working through those offshore umbrella companies is the most lucrative for contractors. Using umbrella companies like that will have returns of up to 90%.

Umbrella Company List

To find some of these offshore umbrella companies, and more umbrella company reviews, you should click on Offshore Umbrella Company List

Contractors who want to find moneymaking opportunities should click on Contractor Moneymaking

Disguised Contractors versus Disguised Employees

Disguised Contractors

Disguised Contractors

We have a new concept of disguised contractors.

The reason that the Government brought in IR35 in 1999 was because they believed that many contractors were just disguised employees. Many companies were laying off permanent workers on the Friday and they were starting in the same job on the Monday as contractors.

This saved the company money in taxation and NI contributions and gave the companies a more flexible workforce. They could lay off these new contractors without redundancy payments when times were tight. They could, maybe, hire them again when things picked up.

It was good for the new contractors, as well. They could offset a lot of things against tax that they couldn’t before. It was a win-win situation. Rather it was a win-win-lose situation with the Government / HMRC / taxpayer as the loser.

Disguised Employees

The Government, and HMRC, quite rightly saw these as disguised employees. It was a scam – a tax avoidance scam.

However, the law that the Government brought in, IR35, caught not only those disguised employee contractors in its nets but tens of thousands of contractors who had been operating, quite legally, as Limited Company contractors for years. It is still catching them in their IR35 nets.

The Government hadn’t meant to in the first place. However, when they saw the extra revenue brought in they decided they quite liked that. When the Conservatives were in opposition they gave winks and nods to the PCG about abolishing IR35.

Looked At IR35 Again

Well, they didn’t actually promise to get rid of IR35 but to ‘look at’ it again. They did look at it and decided to keep it. The main reason was that there was a danger that contractors would get out of Umbrella Companies en masse and start up Limited Companies again.

As there are 200,000 Umbrella Company contractors at the moment and they pay, on average, £10,000 a year more in Tax and NI contributions this would be a loss to the Treasury of £2bn a year. They didn’t fancy that. Surely nobody really believed that they would hand back a load of money to people earning several hundred a day.

Government Prefer Umbrella Companies

The Government appear to want as many contractors as they can to get into Umbrella Companies. Although these contractors are able to claim more expenses than a permanent person could claim, while working through an Umbrella Company, HMRC appear to be happy to allow this to happen. They much prefer dealing with a few hundred Umbrella Companies than a million small Limited Companies.

The Umbrella Companies cream off the contractor’s PAYE tax and NI contributions and sends them on to HMRC each week.

Yes, that’s right, these contractors pay PAYE. They are, as far as HMRC are concerned, permanent employees.

Disguised Contractors v Disguised Employees

So, in getting rid of Disguised Employees they have now created what are, effectively, hundreds of thousands of Disguised Contractors.

The disguised contractors are really contractors but they are dressed up as employees of the Umbrella Companies.

The Umbrella Companies are, in effect, a ruse. They are a device so that contractors, whom IR35 catches, can pretend to be employees of the Umbrella Companies (who don’t produce or make anything) in order to claim some expenses against tax.

You couldn’t make this up!

Waste of Time and Money

Isn’t this all just a waste of time and money?

Couldn’t they just have come up with some solution to stop companies changing employees into contractors in the same job over a weekend? Surely it shouldn’t have been so hard to stop that.

Instead they created the monster IR35 which has created an industry in keeping hundreds of thousands of contractors outside IR35 and hundreds of thousands of contractors ‘dressed up’ as employees.

What a terrible waste of everyone’s time and money!

For a list of legal Offshore Umbrella Companies you should click on Offshore Umbrella Company List

General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) will not catch multinationals

General Anti Avoidance Rules offshore

General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR)

There is a common misperception that the new General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) will force companies like Google, Facebook and Starbucks to pay more UK tax. It will do no such thing and it is not even aimed at them.

Playing Field

The problem that the UK Government has in this area is that it doesn’t control the playing field. Other countries can use whatever rate of Corporation tax that they like and the UK cannot do anything about it. They can’t tell Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland what Corporation Tax to set.

Maybe the EU could but remember that the EU has a common VAT rate – but Britain has a different one. This would certainly be brought up if Britain tried to introduce a standard rate of corporation tax across the EU.

Switzerland is not even in the EU anyway and neither are the Bahamas, Bermuda etc.

Loading Up Costs

In terms of General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR), it’s also up to companies in which countries they load up costs and in which countries they have low costs and high profits.

General Anti Avoidance Rules

General Anti Avoidance Rules affecting UK contractors

Those countries with low corporation tax rates lose out as the companies incur fewer costs there like opening factories or hiring people.

Those with higher rates of tax will ge the benefit of the companies loading up costs by running their operations there. Those countries will earn income tax and have fewer people claiming unemployment benefit.

Dice Loaded

It’s swings and roundabouts. Cameron is trying to load the dice so that the UK can get both jobs and the corporation tax. However, he can’t bring in many measures to do so. He would have to get international cooperation and that will prove very difficult to do with low tax countries like Ireland saying that their corporation tax rate of 12.5% was not negotiable even when they were being forced into a bailout.

Any multinational agreement on all of this is a long way off, if it happens at all. Why should countries not compete on tax rates as well as on everything else. Surely that’s the free market. Surely a Conservative would understand that. Why do they want or need General Anti Avoidance rules (GAAR)?

Isle of Man Umbrella Companies happy with Budget

Isle of Man Umbrella Companies for contractors

Isle of Man Umbrella Companies

Isle of Man Umbrella Companies are happy with the latest budget.

The Chancellor took aim at tax avoidance in his budget today – especially offshore tax avoidance. However, the Isle of Man Umbrella Companies appear to have got away relatively lightly compared to Jersey and Guernsey.

The Chancellor has acted on the intermediaries tax loophole where UK companies avoid payroll tax by routing their payroll offshore in places like Jersey and Guernsey.

Isle of Man Umbrella Companies

Isle of Man Umbrella Companies for UK contractors

Often the temporary workers used by those UK companies didn’t even know it was happening. This is even though it could have led to them losing sick pay and maternity pay entitlement.

Illegal Schemes

However, these schemes are illegal in the Isle of Man and one company was fined for trying to operate one.

The Chancellor also said that he would work with the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey over disclosure. However, the former has been ahead of the game here and has worked closely with HMRC and the Government.

The people targeted are those who hide money in offshore bank accounts.  It’s not about contractors who use offshore umbrella companies.

The companies will feel that they got away relatively lightly.

Contractors can retain 85% of their income by using these companies. Many contractors are now doing so.

Here is one here:-

Compare the Umbrella