Tag Archive | "Accountants"

McDonald’s to Pay Millions in UK Tax

When you want a burger and fries what is the first name you think of? McDonald’s of course, and it now appears they are going to be paying a lot more tax.

This is because they’ve just announced that their non-US base which is currently in Luxembourg, is set to move into London after Brexit has been completed. Once the move is finalised, then our government can expect to be seeing a lot more tax paid by the fast food giant.

I’m sure they already pay quite a bit of income tax, but once their main international headquarters is based in our nations capital then it is going to be a lot more.

This all comes at a time when many of the American companies that have a base in the UK are being criticised for not paying enough tax. Big names such as eBay, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft all pay very little tax to our government, despite each making Billions of pounds every year from UK consumers.

No matter what you think about these kind of companies and their business practises, there is no doubt that McDonalds having its main international base in the UK is a good thing. Not only will more jobs be offered to our workforce, but contractors and freelancers will also get more opportunities from both temporary and permanent roles.

Also, let’s not forget about our accountants, who are no doubt very interested in offering their services to McDonalds if they are going to be paying a lot of tax to the government. Ultimately, that is one big tax return to fill in, which means they will require many accountants working around the clock.

Despite being an American company, McDonalds now make two thirds of their yearly revenue outside of the USA, with new restaurants opening every day in markets like South America and Asia.

Many fast food insiders have commented that London is the perfect base to make this all happen, mainly because of its central location and popularity among many international companies from around the world.

London is also a central hub for contractors, who have the skills that companies like McDonalds need, especially when it comes to things like IT and technology

This confirms to me that while the UK economy did struggle a bit immediately after the Brexit vote, it now seems that things are back on track and we can expect to see companies becoming confident again about wanting to do business here.

Many of the FTSE 100 companies have committed their future to the UK and confirmed they plan to keep their bases here.

This is good news for both contractors and accountants, and it goes to show that if you have the skills, you will be able to get work.

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Three Jailed for 19 years in £6.9m Tax Fraud

In the kind of of story that is becoming all too common, three businessmen have been sentenced to a total of 19 years for tax fraud.

The amount they defrauded from HMRC? Would you believe it totals £6.9m over just 2 and half years, which no doubt allowed them to live a life of luxury when they should have been paying tax.

It doesn’t matter if you are a contractor, freelancer, or self employed, make sure you get a good accountant to handle all of your finances, and then pay tax. It really is as simple as that.

Don’t get tempted into thinking you can get away with it, because ultimately when you are making millions of pounds you do attract the attention of HMRC, and if tax fraud is involved then expect to found out eventually.

The three men were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to 7 years and 8 months, 7 years and 6 months, and 4 years respectively, and will now be taken away to prison to begin their sentences. Not only that, but two of the men are banned from becoming company directors for 10 years.

During the trial, it was shown the three guys used a number of different tactics to avoid paying tax, as well setting up various offshore bank accounts and companies to hide all of the money. One of the main countries money was funnelled to is Gibraltar, with one guy having £1.2m in cash there alone.

Ultimately though, investigations by the HMRC found all the money, both in the UK and abroad, and it wasn’t long until they compiled their case and brought the guys to trial.

A spokesperson for HMRC commented, “We unravelled what they’d created and they are now paying the price. No one is beyond our reach.”

While I think it’s good they are out there catching people involved in tax fraud, one area I would like to see HMRC focus their attention is bigger companies who are paying virtually no tax in the UK.

I’ve talked about this before, with companies such as eBay, Google, Microsoft and Apple, who all basically pay very little tax in the UK.

Now, I’m not suggesting these companies are doing anything illegal, because at the end of the day, it is the job of any company, contractor, freelancer or self employed person to legally pay as little tax as possible. I just think they need to investigate the tax dealings of these big companies a bit more closely.

As for the three men jailed for a total of 19 years. Well, a court has decided their punishment, and now they must serve the time because they did the crime.

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£1.1m Tax Paid by eBay, They Made Over 1 Billion

We all know that big companies are getting away with paying tax in the UK, but £1.1m in tax from eBay? Surely this is a joke.

It gets even funnier when eBay themselves have announced that their revenue in the UK was £1.1bn last year.

They have 372 staff who mainly work in offices throughout London, and have been allowing online sellers to advertise their goods for years. Once a sale is made, either through an online auction or fixed price sale, then eBay takes a percentage of the sale for allowing the seller to list on their site.

When you consider that millions of Brits use eBay on a daily basis, then it’s easy to see why they are now a Billion pound company here, it’s just unfortunate there is virtually none of that money going back into the UK.

So how are they getting away with it you might be wondering? At the end of the day, it all comes down to very clever accountants who know the system and use it to their advantage.

Some experts have claimed that eBay use a very complex corporate structure that ultimately sends the majority of income into divisions of the company that operate overseas.

I suppose it’s nice when you can pay millions of pounds to accountants who can then plan out this type of structure, I’m sure this is a luxury that many contractors and self employed freelancers would like to have.

This really brings us to the question…Are eBay actually doing anything wrong, or are they just fairly gaming the system? There are many people who argue that it is the responsibility of a company to pay as little tax as possible legally, and if eBay have worked out a way to do achieve this they have every right.

To a point I agree with that statement, but it does become frustrating when you see these very big companies like eBay, Amazon, Google and Microsoft, who are basically paying no tax at all into the UK system.

I think the responsibility on this should come to the government, who must step in and investigate further as to what companies such as eBay are doing to only pay £1.1m in tax. They should then take appropriate action to stop it from happening.

This might not be possible though, because if those clever accountants are always one step ahead it means that many companies can enjoy operating in the UK basically tax free.

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Sam Allardyce Criticises HMRC and Accountants

We all know that Sam Allardyce was sacked as the England manager, but what many media outlets are not reporting is that he criticised the HMRC and accountants.

It was during that same undercover video where he is filmed talking about receiving payments for transfers that he also touched on these other subjects.

In one part he can be heard saying that HMRC is the “most corrupt business” in the UK, an opinion he no doubt formed after being investigated for both a tax scam and tax fraud.

This was all part of an undercover video by the Telegraph of course, where journalists posed as business people from the Far East and then attended a meeting with Allardyce and his agent.

The main topic of conversation was transfers and getting around FA rules, which ultimately led to him getting fired as England manager after only 1 game in charge.

In another quote he was heard saying about the HMRC – “They fly out tax demands without any real knowledge whether they should or shouldn’t.”

Harsh words for sure, and not something the HMRC will look upon as being funny.

It wouldn’t surprise me if we see headlines involving both Allardyce and HMRC in the future, as they clearly have a difference of opinion.

He then went on to attack accountants for their role in his previous tax scandals, claiming that they don’t do anything for you once the HMRC get involved.

Obviously Allardyce has his opinions, but at the end of the day it still surprises me that people in such high positions are willing to say these things in front of total strangers. This isn’t the first time someone in football or sports has been caught out in an undercover journalist video, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

In this day and age of hidden camera’s and smartphones that can easily record a conversation, it’s just surprising that someone like Allardyce would be willing to talk about the subjects he did.

No matter if you think he should have lost his job or not, there is no denying that if he never went to this meeting in the first place, or just kept the conversation away from the topics he ended up going into, then he would still be in charge of England.

From what I’ve been hearing Allardyce is now away in Spain spending time at his luxury villa, no doubt waiting for all of this to become old news so he get back into club management.

How soon will that be? It’s difficult to say really, although I think it will probably be sometime in 2017. Let’s just hope he can find a decent accountant when he does get a new job.

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Accountants to be Responsible for Tax Avoidance

Tax avoidance is definitely a problem, mainly among the super rich who setup tax havens and offshore holdings that mean they pay little, if no tax at all.

Well, new plans have suggested maybe it should be the accountants that help these tax dodgers who should be held responsible.

Let’s face it, they are, in many cases, the architects so to speak, and if it wasn’t for their knowledge many of these millionaires and billionaires wouldn’t be able to get away with paying so little.

The proposals have called for accountants to be fined 100% of the tax that was avoided. In other words, if a court says Mr Billionaire didn’t pay 5 million in tax last year, then his accountant will no doubt be out of business pretty quickly.

These rules would be designed to stop tax avoidance right at the foundation, and although it might seem a bit harsh, and will no doubt cause a lot of debate, both in the UK and abroad, there is no denying that if accountants were held responsible then tax avoidance would not be costing the government billions of pounds a year.

While I think the plans do have merit, in reality I don’t really see how this can move forward successfully.

Maybe on a smaller level, but surely accountants couldn’t be held responsible for the actions of someone else…could they? Only time will tell, but my initial reaction is that it would be very difficult to bring forward and enforce.

Just to be clear, the new plans are not talking about accountants who help their clients avoid paying tax legitimately. This is completely legal and is one of the main jobs of an accountant, because ultimately everyone wants to pay less tax.

What we are talking about here is accountants who come up with schemes and illegal ways for their clients to avoid paying the tax they owe.

I know one thing: it will definitely get harder for individuals to dodge tax in the future, as the government really are looking to do everything in their power to to stop offenders.

Even the new PM has pledged her support, recently saying “tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society.”

She is right of course, and even if you are a company like Google or Amazon then you should have to pay tax on all income while a registered UK company.

Now, these kind of companies can afford the best accountants out there, but these new plans will certainly make a lot of them think twice about doing anything that could be considered against the rules.

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Accountancy Software Company in Data Breach

The well known accountancy software Sage, was recently involved in a data breach that is believed to have exposed the details of UK businesses.

Around 300 businesses were involved in the breach, with some of those potentially being contractors and freelancers who were no doubt not too pleased their personal and bank account details would have been on show.

It’s a shame when these kind of things happen, especially when multi-million pound companies like Sage should be right at the forefront of customer security and privacy. However, these things do happen, even to the biggest companies, and I think it’s their response that tells you the most about the company.

With that in mind, it is good to see that Sage, who are a FTSE 100 Company, have made it a top priority to investigate the breach and then take the necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

They should be applauded for this approach in my opinion. Instead of hiding away and trying to pass the buck, they are taking responsibility and showing their willingness to tackle these kind of issues right away.

“Our customers are always out first priority,” said Sage. “We are communicating directly with those who may be affected and giving guidance on measures they can take to protect their security.”

No doubt many contractors and freelancers who have accounts with this accounting software company will be watching this news story very closely over the next few weeks, and will be interested to see how it all ends.

They can take comfort knowing that The Information Commissioners Office is also involved with the investigation, so everybody can be assured all lines of inquiry will be followed through with until the matter is resolved and a satisfactory conclusion has been reached for all those who had their details on show.

Personally, I think this kind of thing will happen more in the future as we put all of our details online and have accounts for just about everything.

Sure, the security technology is getting better, which means online criminals have a harder time getting inside, but there will always be mishaps and breaches like the one we have just seen at Sage, and although they are doing everything in their power to put it right, it still doesn’t change the fact that a few hundred business owners in the UK had data on show that should not have been there.

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Google Paris HQ raided over alleged tax avoidance

French authorities decided enough was enough and stormed Google’s Paris headquarters based on some rather pointed tax avoidance claims.

Around 100 investigators have been reportedly involved in efforts to suss out just what the search engine giant has been doing with the income it’s been raking in over the years, especially since their profits seem to be mysteriously unavailable when it comes to paying corporate tax. It’s almost as if the company has been deliberately hiding their enormous gains by funneling it offshore to tax havens or something.

Oh, I’m sorry, was I being a bit too sarcastic just now? Yes, everyone knows that big multinational companies like Google have been heavily criticised when it comes to not paying their fair share. Somehow, Google was shamed into paying around £130 million in back taxes here at home, despite the fact that the sum was just a very, very small fraction of what the company could have paid to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

Of course the Government will never go after Google with much fervour, as Treasury ministers usually try to suck the nation’s self-employed dry instead. It’s simply less hassle to harass contractors and freelancers, as they don’t have armies of lawyers and accountants to hide their money for them in locations like the Seychelles.

Hopefully the French are less willing to just roll over and let Google to do whatever they want with the money they actually owe tax authorities over the world. Yes, yes, the search and advertising giant may argue that it’s not breaking any laws because of all the tax loopholes out there, but come now – do we have to legislate moral, ethical behaviour now along with everything else?

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course we’ll have to. Multinationals are soulless, completely amoral entities when it comes to the money they make. Sure, Google’s motto may be “don’t do evil,” but that certainly doesn’t extend to how they handle their financial obligations, now does it?

Certainly not when there’s profit to be made. Think about that the next time you do a Google search for “tax avoidance,” or anything else for that matter! Sneaky multinationals, rolling in their vast gains like Scrooge McDuck in his giant vault, endear themselves to nobody. At least Uncle Scrooge was generous with his nephews!

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IR35 reform plans questioned by contracting bodies

The Government’s IR35 reform plans have fallen under fire from contracting bodies after a recent report contradicted official compliance data.

A new report from a Public Accounts Committee says that the tax compliance figures that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs are wildly inaccurate. In fact, compliance among freelancers and contractors is likely much higher than HMRC’s suggestions, the PAC report says – in fact, the report’s findings say that an overwhelming 90 per cent of temporary workers in the public sectors are tax compliant! That’s not an insignificant figure, especially since the PAC report gathered figures from a wide variety of Government departments.

Meanwhile, the compliance rate as formerly believed before the Budget 2016 was a paltry 10 per cent. Based on this (obviously massively erroneous) figure, HMRC estimated that the new IR35 reforms would rake in some additional £400 million in tax revenue. Treasury officials and representatives from the tax authority maintained their belief in this ridiculously low figure at a compliance seminar recently, though when they were pressed on the matter they didn’t exactly come forward with any more information. Normally when something like that happens, most people will begin to look a bit askance on an organisation that won’t back up their claim with valid statistics and official figures.

Listen, no one is saying that non-compliance is nonexistent. It happens, of course. People either make mistakes or are trying purposefully to get one over on HMRC. But for pity’s sake, the difference between only 10 per cent of public sector contractors being in compliance with tax regulations and 90 per cent being in compliance is not within the standard margin of error! Either HMRC has gone completely around the bend or this recent PAC report is completely fabricated – and my money is on the taxman being complete rubbish.

The data in the PAC report is all there right in front of us, for anyone to read and understand. Yet HMRC hasn’t exactly publicised their own data that led them to their now obviously outrageous claim. Honestly if you ask me the fig leaf of “ending tax avoidance” has been snatched away from the tax authority’s grand plan when it comes to their IR35 reforms, laying bare for all the Government’s blatant plan to grab as much cash from public sector contractors as humanly possible. Honestly hasn’t anyone ever told them that you can’t get blood from a stone?


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Late payments to contractors higher than ever

Small business owners in the UK – which include contractors – are now owed something like £67.4 billion. This late payments epidemic needs to end!

Freelancers have absolutely nothing to be happy about, according to the Asset-Based Finance Association. The AFBA has been keeping track of how much money is owed to SMEs throughout the UK, and the news is absolutely abysmal. The organisation reports that things are getting worse, too – 2011’s late payments were only £49.5 billion, indicating a 36 per cent increase over the last few years – and that most invoices, on average, don’t get paid for 72 days straight.

So why are SMEs being hit so hard? Well honestly I’d think it has much to do with the arrogance of larger firms here in the UK. Big companies with massive accountancy departments know exactly how much money they have, how much they can move and when, and when you’ve got a big team of accountants working for you it’s easy to look for loopholes or simply ignore the entreaties of smaller companies – especially contractors, freelancers, and other self-employed Brits that have little to no pull in the business world. Why bother paying these blokes and birds on time and in full when there’s no real consequences for you if you push them off until it’s convenient for you to pay them?

The Government has, of course, been next to useless on this issue. Oh, yes, there’s plenty of “growing concern” being bandied about in Parliament or at Downing Street, but with policymakers more concerned with mollifying these big businesses and keeping them happy instead of allying themselves with the needs of the unwashed masses, these concerned moans coming from MPs and ministers is nothing more than hot air being blown up the nether regions of contractors trying to make a living. Perhaps if these policymakers had to chase down invoices from their clients so they could keep paying their electric bills and keep petrol in their vehicles so they could get down to the shop for milk and bread it would be a different story.

So what’s a contractor to do, besides keep slogging away and earning a living the only way you can? Not much, really. I would say avoiding companies that are notorious when it comes to late payments is your best bet, but the truth is that with the problem so prevalent and widespread in the UK it’s going to be a challenge to find a company that’s actually as keen to manager their outgoings as they are to manage their incomes – or at least a company that has accountants that have more moral and ethical compunctions against giving the little guy a stick in the eye instead of paying an invoice.


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HMRC to err on the side of wrath with penalties

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is likely to be erring on the side of caution when it comes to penalties, deciding lenience is best for errors in tax returns.

The taxman seems to be hardening its heart when it comes to inconsistencies or errors on tax returns, making it more likely that it will simply assume that taxpayers are trying to get one over on it instead of just making an honest mistake. In fact, the latest penalty figures show that when it comes to inaccurate returns, HMRC isn’t only meting out higher penalties but more of them.

This is something that accountants have been suspected for quite some time, with many financial experts wondering whether the tax authority has made a conscious decision to draw in additional revenue through fines by deliberately classifying cases where errors were made by legitimate accident as those made with intent to engage in tax avoidance or otherwise diminish an individual’s tax responsibilities.

Whilst most people would simply dismiss such ideas as the rantings of a febrile mind that has been staying up late reading too many conspiracy theories on the Internet or late-night television, but the truth is there’s cold, hard figures to back this up. It turns out that in the 2012-13 rax year there were more than 5,000 taxpayers who were issued penalties for so-called ‘deliberate behaviour’ on their tax returns – yet in tax year 2013-14 this figure ballooned to nearly 15,000.

That’s one hell of a smoking gun if you ask me. But wait, there’s more – it turns out that when it comes to total penalties, those classified as ‘deliberate behaviour’ went from being 9 per cent of the total to 16 per cent. This has tax experts up in arms as it looks like HMRC is deliberately choosing to attribute more incorrect returns as calculated attempts at tax avoidance.

If this is indeed some scheme on the part of the tax authority to generate additional cash through trumped-up ‘deliberate behaviour’ penalties, this is truly reprehensible. Are you going to truly argue that the number of idiots tripled from one tax year to the other? Don’t be ridiculous – those figures stick out like a sore thumb, and something is definitely going on here that’s not aboveboard. I dare you to argue otherwise!

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Economist loses his mind over tax avoidance campaigning

A pre-eminent economist is slowly but surely losing his mind after being bombarded with General Election rhetoric concerning tax avoidance plans from parties.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies’ director Paul Johnson is positively tearing his hair out when it comes to the main parties arguing over which one would do the best at reclaiming cash from those playing fast and loose with tax regulations. In his opinion, they’re really doing nothing more than simply pulling figures out of their arses in the same way magicians pull rabbits out of their hats. In fact, Johnson even went as far as to say that the whole situation is “deeply depressing.”

Between the Lib Dems, the Tories and Labour, you would think that we don’t even have a deficit with the billions they say they’re either planning to reclaim or that they have already saved. Meanwhile, Johnson points out that it’s nearly an impossibility to know from the beginning what a Government will be able to achieve from a tax avoidance crackdown.

The whole thing, if you ask me, is proof positive that you shouldn’t send a politician to do an accountant’s job. I agree with Johnson, who went on to say that the main parties have incomprehensibly ruled out shedloads of straightforward, no-nonsense ways of increasing tax revenue. Meanwhile the only plans left over are completely nonsensical in every way, shape and form, and the only thing happening now is that each party’s representatives spend most of their time attacking their counterparts’ plans instead of improving their own.

It’s getting to the point where the whole thing just makes my head spin. Who are you supposed to vote for at this point? Furthermore, how do these blokes keep up with the debates with their heads jammed so squarely up their own arses? Do they breathe through their feet? It’s a medical mystery that certainly needs to be solved if you ask me.

Honestly the only thing I can say about the matter is that whatever party wins this next General Election, we all lose in one way or another. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go down to my local and wash my brain clean by having several pints.

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New financial year, new tax rules: HMRC issues reminder

In case you’ve completely forgotten that the new tax year has rolled around – and with it comes new tax rules – HMRC has seen fit to remind us all.

The tax authority made the announcement shortly after the new year rolled in, something that is doubly important to contractors, freelancers and other self-employed Brits as there are more than quite a few new adjustments going into effect that could actually be a boon. In many ways, these new tax rules are advantageous, especially in the region of business rates that favour small business owners.

First up is the Small Business Rate Relief scheme, which is getting doubled for yet another year in England. What’s this mean in particular? Well any firm with just one property with a rateable value under £6,000 will continue to be exempt from business rates, as they will retain their eligibility for 100 per cent relief.

If that wasn’t enough for you, English restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops with rateable values of £50,000 or less will see their business rates discount hiked up an additional £500 to a new high of £1,500. On top of that small business mulitplier rates have been scaled back to 48.0p from 74.1p inclusive of teh two per cent interest cap. Meanwhile the standard multiplier rate actually went up more than 1p to 43.9p, so be glad if you’re a small business owner, eh?

So why all the sudden love for small businesses? Well these changes, which Chancellor Osborne revealed in his latest Budget, were specifically formulated to aid small firms and local businesses cope with the competition from rivals like big chain shops and international online retailers that often have the accountanting knowledge to slip through the cracks when it comes to their tax liabilities. The new rates aim to fix the discrepancy; instead of trying to whip these multinational firms into shape and put an end to their tax avoidance, the new schemes are designed to work the other end of the problem instead.

I think this is brilliant, as it’ obvious that the Government either has its hands tied in getting these big firms to pay up or that there’s simply not enough incentive to do so. I say keep the focus on small firms and let’s see where we end up!

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Government offers new guidance to the self-employed

The Government in its infinite wisdom has decided to offer new guidance for the self-employed like freelancers and contractors to help set things straight.

Self-employment as a way to make a living has become so popular over the last few years that more Brits are working for themselves than ever before. However, even in the face of that there are plenty of individuals who are dying to make the jump to working for themselves – but sometimes it seems so complicated a task that it’s simply too daunting to pull the trigger; believe it or not the Government has come through in order to let people know that striking out as a sole trader or contractor doesn’t mean that they have to necessarily go it alone.

In fact, with some of the biggest problems self-employed Brits face in the realm of navigating things like self-assessment tax returns and National Insurance, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs has stepped into the breach to provide some comfort in the form of a shedload of free online courses the self-employed can take to provide the knowledge they need; it’s likely the next best thing to going out and becoming a chartered accountant in your own right, if you ask me.

The courses HMRC is offering focus on a number of topics and start with a slew of business emails designed to make it a snap for those thinking of jumping into entrepreneurship to build the infrastructure for their new endeavours. The free service, according to the taxman, should help professionals gain a better understanding in order to set up their own business properly.

If that wasn’t enough, HMRC says it will also host several one hour long webinars that will cover important topics. Attendees can ask questions during the presentations; participation requires showing up at your computer just five minutes in advance to log in, but for those who prefer just to watch and listen you need only go to YouTube to watch the video afterwards.

Finally, the tax authority is providing more materials to nascent self-employed Brits that clarifies what their tax requirements will be in the form of more expressive guidance. This last part is likely to be quite helpful for any number of contractors and freelance workers.

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This is what contractors want from today’s Budget

While Chancellor George Osborne drones on today about the new Budget, here’s what contractors, freelancers and other small business owners would like to hear.

Just in time for the chancellor to reveal new tax planning measures in the Budget, a new YouGov survey of SMEs – which includes freelancers and contractors – has discovered that the kinds of things that self-employed Brits want to see discussed include things like late payments and tax relief. The survey, which polled more than 800 business owners of firms that had 50 employees or fewer, found that the most wanted subject was further relief from corporation tax for small businesses and start-ups.

Small businesses just need corporation tax breaks, as the majority of the respondents said they had less than £1 million in turnover. In fact, those surveyed said they would like to see business rates rubbed out of existence completely for any firm that has less than £800,000 in turnover.

Next up was a call for more straightforward tax, especially when it came for small firms, sole traders and self-employed contractors. HMRC needs to tackle the issue of tax returns, these respondents said, though most of the respondents that ranked this choice high tended to work in accounting and finance roles.

Meanwhile, the third most popular choice was support for late payments. Small firms need more support in dealing with late payments from larger companies, as these bigger firms have a tendency to bully contractors, freelancers, and SMEs by delaying payment for goods and services. There needs to be stricter penalties for these late payments, and small business owners want these penalties enforced on large firms that keep paying them late.

It’s obvious from these top three that SMEs are sick and tired of being pushed around by larger firms – or being subjected to things like corporation tax when multinational companies seem to have a knack for getting away without paying even a penny in some situations. Whether or not George Osborne is going to address any of these things remains to be seen, but honestly I’m not going to hold my breath. The chancellor doesn’t really have much of a proven track record when it comes to supporting SMEs and contract workers, though I suppose we could all be pleasantly surprised today couldn’t we?

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