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What UK Contractors need to know about the Autumn Statement

by Scott Brown | Nov 18, 2015
  • This week we’re looking at what you can expect from George Osbourne’s 25 November Autumn Statement. This article will focus on how the statement could affect contractors, pensions and rental properties.

    Contractors and the Autumn Statement

    A few weeks ago news outlets began reporting that contractor agreements would be capped at one month. This change could be announced in the Autumn Statement and would mean that anyone contracted to work for the same client for more than one month would be considered an employee. 

    Although various articles speculated about this measure, the credibility of these claims cannot be confirmed. However, as a precaution, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has created a template letter which contractors can send to MPs. This letter urges politicians to not impose the mooted cap; you can download it here . Others in the industry feel, despite all the brouhaha, that the status of contractors will remain largely unchanged. 

    Rather than far-reaching changes to the contractor landscape, it is likely that the government will enforce IR35 more rigidly. So be sure to check your contracts thoroughly and consult with your accountant to ensure that your contracts remain on the right side of IR35.

    Changes affecting pensions

    After some heavy speculation earlier in the year, it seems that the government has backed down from making significant changes to the pension landscape in the Autumn Statement. In July the chancellor said he was “open to further radical change”. However, the treasury came out this month and assured the media that no decision on pension reform will be announced in the upcoming statement.

    Rental properties

    After causing rental property owners a lot of pain in the Summer Budget, many commentators have suggested that the chancellor may well extend an olive branch to the landlords of the UK. Given the vital role landlords play in the property market, and the fact that they are traditionally pro-Tory, it is hoped that the government will ease some of the provisions announced last July.

    The ICAEW’s asks for a measured statement

    Earlier this week, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) released a statement directly addressing Osbourne and the upcoming Autumn Statement. The ICAEW has implored the chancellor to not announce a slew of new changes to business regulations.

    Stephen Ibbotson, director of business at the ICAEW, explained: ”By not announcing any more bombshells in the Autumn Statement, the Government has a chance to give businesses the opportunity to plan with confidence for the longer term.”

    If you have any questions about the upcoming Autumn Statement please send us an email. For any other contractor or personal accounting queries give us a call on +44 (0) 20 7759 7553 or visit our website.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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