Categorized | news

Tell the taxman if you’re shuttering your doors

If you’re a freelancer or contractor and you’re going out of business either because you’re shuttering our doors or your selling your business, tell the taxman!

That is, at least, the message that’s been pushed by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, as the tax collector recently issued reminders to everyone who would listen that, yes, you need to pay your taxes, even if you’re getting out of the freelancing business and moving on to greener pastures. HMRC says that it’s a requirement to inform it if you are indeed selling on or closing your business, and in order to make it easier for contractors or freelancers – though it’s hard to believe that the taxman would ever make anything easier for anyone ever – there’s now a handy online form that a contractor or freelancer can fill out if they have plans to cease trading.

The online form requires you to reveal a myriad of information including a contractor’s national insurance number, taxpayer code, and other personal contact details. The form pays particular interest to the national insurance and self assessment contributions of a contractor, and since so many Brits have indeed turned to self-employment as a way to make ends meet, this new online form could see a large impact if this new crop of freelancers decide to return to traditional full-time permanent employment sometime in the future, perhaps when the dust settles and economy finally recovers fully – though when that could be is more or less anyone’s guess, what with the absolute mess of things in the eurozone at the moment.

Still, contractors and freelancers have indeed played an important role in trying to push the economy more towards recovery than anything else, so it may not be as long as you think before we see people leaving their freelancing gigs and returning to regular employment. Unemployment in the UK is most definitely lower than it could be right now thanks to the contributions of contractors, and since contract workers are so flexible this allows firms to still complete projects without the larger cash outlay that permanent employees would lead to, keeping costs down and maximising revenues, so if nothing else contracting is playing an important role in its attempt to kickstart the economy once more, regardless of the massive mess in the eurozone.

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