Tag Archive | "freelance"

Lorraine Fought The HMRC…And Lorraine Won

Usually when people fight the HMRC in court then HMRC win. No contest. End of discussion “Pay us now,” say the HMRC.

Step forward Lorraine Kelly, the television royalty on the same level as superstars such as Jeremy Kyle, Jamie Oliver and Ross Kemp.

Lorraine is a favourite of the nation, there is no doubt about that, and when faced with the power of HMRC she decided to FIGHT THE POWER, and guess what? She won.

That’s right. Lorraine fought the HMRC…and Lorraine won…and now she has the right to call herself a bonafide contractor and reject the moniker of employee.

The HMRC wanted to label her as an employee. They claimed she was hired by ITV in a “employer/employee” relationship, which meant she would be subjected to the whole IR35 madness.

In short, the HMRC slapped Lorraine with a £1.2 million tax bill.

They were expecting a cheque from the the TV superstar, but were left stunned at HMRC HQ when Lorraine issued a challenge…

“I will see you in court,” were the words that came from the mouth of Lorraine Kelly.

Fighting words no doubt, and Lorraine Kelly was determined to take on the HMRC and let a judge rule over her case. She wasn’t writing out any cheques, just yet.

And so Lorraine Kelly VS HMRC came to court, and on the breezy but sunny morning of the court case there was television cameras and paparazzi photographers waiting outside the courthouse just waiting to get snaps of Lorraine turning up to the court.

Kind of like a court red carpet. Some say she even posed for snaps before the court was in session, while others noted that her superstar friends such as Mr Kyle, Mr Oliver, and Mr Kemp were there to offer support and offer a character witness.

Well it seems to have worked because a judge slammed down that trusty hammer and ruled that Lorraine Kelly was NOT employed by ITV and that she WAS a contractor who works for herself.

Long story short…she could say goodbye to HMRC and their £1.2 million tax bill, and close the door on this whole IR35 madness.

She was a free woman, and some witnesses report that as she left the courtroom she held her hand up in celebration and defiance.

You know, something tells me that Lorraine could have avoided this situation if she had a trustworthy contractor accountant in her corner.

Our best contractor accountants are trained to help you pay less tax while keeping you out of trouble with HMRC.

They fight on your behalf, and they always win. You can hire a contractor accountant right now.

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A Right Royal Tax Mess

If your average contractor has to pay tax, then so should the Duchess of Sussex…And she does…directly to HMRC.

We are talking about Meghan Markle of course. The American woman who married into the Royal Family and became a Duchess.

But is her fairytale wedding about to turn into a Royal nightmare? Indeed it might.

You see, despite raking in the cash over here on British shores, Meghan is still an American Citizen, which means she might have to kick up cash to Uncle Sam to avoid the FBI knocking on her front door.

Some pundits are even suggesting that her husband, our very own Prince Harry, might even have to hand over a slice of his fortune to the USA tax people.

The reason? Because now they are husband and wife, a joint bank account is no doubt firmly in place, with both of their names on the chequebook.

They joined together at the altar…and joined their incomes together…before joining their bank accounts…but now…they might just have to pay…

Joint Tax!!

40% of their income to HMRC and 40% of their income to Uncle Sam = only 20% left for holidays and shopping trips. Not good.

Harry and Meghan. No. Excuse me…Prince and Duchess…

If you reading this blog post then please allow me to make a suggestion, your highness.

If you are getting hit in the pocket on both sides of the Atlantic then how about hiring a contractor accountant? Stay with me on this one.

The best contractor accountants can legally save you money on tax. How much? How about 20%. Some people are saving even more. And its all legal. Completely straight and narrow.

These contractor accountants are treated just like Royalty in the accounting world, and for good reason…because if they can save you, or anybody, 20% on their tax bill then they really are the Kings and Queens.

They might even be able to sort out that Royal tax mess on the other side of the pond. We can’t guarantee it. You will have to speak with one of the trusted contractor accountants we recommend to find out.

“Just give them a call,” is what we say. They will take calls from contractors, freelancers, self employed gig workers…and yes, even the Prince and Duchess.

You might even want to let your Dad know about these “accountants with the magic touch.” No, they are not court jesters. So please don’t treat them like that.

If you look to the right hand side of the page…right now…then you will find the very best contractor accountants. Fit for a King, or Prince, or Duchess.

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“Champagne For Everybody!” Shouted The Accountant

We talk a lot about the trusted contractor accountants you can find on this site…but what about those accountants who are NOT on this site?

One such accountant was a guy from Galway In Ireland, who was hired to look after the books of a multi national company. The kind of company who turn over millions of pounds a year.

His “trusty” hands delved right into those books. Day after day. Month after month. And everything seemed to be going smoothly.

However, what the company didn’t realise is the accountant was actually putting his hands into the cookie jar, so to speak.

Rather than use those hands to soothe and save…he was using those hands to steal and spend.

How much exactly? £1.7 million pounds to be exact.

It was a secret though. He didn’t want anyone to find out. And he would have got away with it…but he took it too far.

If the expensive holidays, shopping trips and VIP seats at international rugby matches wasn’t enough to arouse suspicion…what happened at his son’s wedding definitely was.

“Champagne for everybody,” the accountant shouted. All paid for on the company credit card, of course.

The only problem is this was right under the noses of the company directors. They were right there at the wedding, drinking champagne they had unwittingly paid for.

Eventually they cottoned on to the fraud, and immediately contacted the Police.

This led to the accountant having his own special day in court, although there was no champagne and no holidays in the sun.

Instead, this particular courtroom had a stern looking judge sitting high above the accountant, and right now as we speak, that judge is sitting there with his hammer firmly in his hand…ready to dish out the rough form of justice that happens to any accountant who breaks the rules.

The accountants wife was also made to answer for these crimes, although she claims she didn’t know anything about it.

If you are a company owner, contractor, freelancer, or just generally self employed…don’t you agree that hiring an accountant like this is simply bad for business.

You don’t want someone drinking champagne and sitting on a tropical beach on your dime…do you? Of course not.

Fortunately, you are in the right place to find trusted accountants who won’t rip you off.

Most of the accountants recommended by us don’t even like champagne. They drink water, fresh and pure just like nature intended.

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In YOUR Bank Account? HMRC Could Gain New Powers

If the tax man comes a knocking then under current rules they need permission to look in your bank account. No More! Potentailly…

New rules are possibly about to be introduced right now, as we speak, where HMRC will have the power to gain access to your bank account and snoop around…without any permission.

There will be no warning and no “polite request.” Even your bank manager can’t stop them. In fact, the bank manager doesn’t even have to tell you.

It’s thought the new rules would mean HMRC can look at your bank statements and you would never know anything about it.

Under the cover of darkness they pounce, like cat burglars in the night.

The key is left under the mat, no need for a crowbar.

Banks typically have to tell their customers if a tax official wants to snoop around in your bank account.

These usually come under the guise of “information orders” which are official requests from HMRC to look closer at the financials of someone they are investigating.

However, it seems HMRC are becoming frustrated with the amount of time these information orders take to process, and that is why they want to speed up the process by eliminating them once and for all.

In other words, they want the magic keys to your bank account. No permission required. And it looks like they are going to get it.

Uproar is the mood among critics and experts in the media world when they heard about all of this. Many believe it is a breach of privacy.

Take James Daley for example, who is the managing director of Fairer Finance. He recently said – “The system we have contains essential protections for taxpayers privacy and rights. The idea that HMRC can request information from people’s bank, from state agents and other third parties without notifying the individual is shocking.”

HMRC have hit back against the onslaught by reassuring people that nothing has been decided yet, one way or another.

“We are considering a range of options,” said a spokesperson for HMRC.

They also went on to add that even if these new powers were brought in…even then, only a few hundred cases a year would warrant it being actioned.

Still…if you want my opinion then listen closely because I am only going to say this once.

If you are a self employed contractor then it is more important than ever before to get yourself a good accountant.

Sure…you might not be doing anything wrong and you might very well consider yourself a man or woman of great reputation within the community. But…

If HMRC can gain entry to the castle, so to speak, without your knowledge, then if you ask me it is more important than ever before to make sure everything is in tip top shape.

Hire a contractor accountant right now. Do not delay another second.

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500,000 Could Pay “Top Whack” Tax Rate

If you thought top rate income tax was just reserved for the rich and famous, then think again, as experts warn it could affect half a million.

Come to think of it…those “super rich” playboys and playgirls often get away scot free. It is you, the hard working contractor and freelancer who is left to pick up the tab, yet again.

While they are swanning around on their super yachts and tanning their cheeks on the beaches of Southern France…it is the British contractor who earns 6 figures a year that is being hit with 45% income rate tax.

As we speak, there is 393,000 people in the UK who pay this 45% rate on every pound they make. However, experts are predicting that around 500,000 people will soon fall under the 150k banner, which means they will also be subject to the 45% rate.

Many of these extra “top earners” will be contractors and freelancers of course. Just ordinary self employed business owners who want to do their best for themselves and their families.

In an ideal world they could bank their 6 figures and keep all of the profits, but this is far from an ideal world. This is a world where if you don’t pay HMRC, then expect them to be knocking at your front door, and nobody wants that.

A leading accountancy firm predicts that in just 5 years time over 500,000 people will be paying 45% tax. Now, more than ever before, do contractors need the services of a professional if you ask me.

What kind of professional? A contractor accountant is exactly the kind of professional that you need, especially if your income is currently or going to be around that £150,000 threshold.

A contractor accountants knowledge and expertise could take you just below the threshold (legally of course), which means you won’t be part of the 500,000.

“I’m not one of the half million,” you can shout…”It’s all thanks to my contractor accountant,” you will add.

Extra money in your pocket and a smile on your face. That is the kind of benefits enjoyed by the thousands who hire a contractor accountant on a monthly basis to look after their finances.

Not sure which contractor accountant to choose? Well, fortunately you are on the right website right now, as we specialise in bringing you the best contractor accountants that are open and waiting for your business right now.

Many of these trusted contractor accountants offer all of their years of experience and knowledge for 1 low monthly fee. Simply look to the right of the page NOW and discover the perfect match for you.

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The New “Silver Striver” Tax – What You Should Know…

There are currently over a million so called “silver strivers” still clocking in and out everyday. They don’t want retirement…they want to work.

This over 65 age bracket enjoy raking in the cash, there is no doubt about that, and, right now as we speak, they don’t pay any National Insurance.

Why? Because they have already paid into the system, year after year. Many workers over the age of 65 already have 40 years of National Insurance contributions to their name. That is more than enough if you ask me.

Unfortunately, it seems the government don’t care about my opinion or the hard working “silver strivers” of our nation.

So it didn’t come as any surprise when a government backed commission recently announced that over 65’s who have a regular salary should NOT get a pass when it comes to National Insurance.

What they are proposing is that every over 65 worker will be paying top whack, week in and week out, just like the rest of the workforce.

This also includes self employed workers by the way. Contractors and freelancers who are over 65 will have to pay…and pay they will, to the tune of £2 billion pounds a year.

No wonder the government want to tax the over 65’s. I can imagine them sitting around a long table in a meeting room, all suited and booted and with one main agenda on their minds…”How can we get more money?”

“Tax the silver surfers,” is what one official suggested, no doubt.

“What a great idea,” replied the person at the head of the table. “Put that into action. Meeting over.”

So here we are. Right on the brink of our hard working over 65s about to be taken advantage of, yet again.

It wouldn’t surprise me if many of these workers and self employed people decide that enough is enough. “Might as well retire for good,” they will say.

For those of you who are not going to give in, especially those brave contractors and freelancers over the age of 65, then my advice is to hire a contractor accountant.

Sure, you might be forced to pay National Insurance contributions once again. There is nothing you can do about that. However, if you have a good contractor accountant in your corner they can help you save money in other ways.

In other words, you won’t be out of pocket, and for many contractors over 65 you will be in profit.

Hire a contractor accountant today and experience the satisfaction of victory for yourself.

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Building Society Now Offer Mortgages for Contractors

The Mansfield Building Society is their name, and giving out mortgages for the self employed and contractors is their new game. Many are intrigued.

Most contractors are well aware of the how problematic getting a self employed mortgage can be. Many have tried, and many have failed.

That is why The Mansfield have stepped in to offer a couple of different mortgage options to those workers who are not considered “traditional” in their employment.

The first mortgage product on offer is a two year fixed rate deal, with 3.49 percent on an 80% loan to value (also known as a LTV). If you are accepted and everything goes through, then there is an additional £800 completion fee.

The second mortgage product from The Mansfield Building Society is slightly different with 3.99 percent on an 80% LTV and completion fee of 1.5 percent of the total amount loaned.

It’s also worth noting that legal and valuation fees are paid for by the customer, so make sure you factor in those costs if you are thinking about applying for one of these contractor mortgages.

So why are normal lenders so reluctant to give out money to the self employed when they want a mortgage? A lot of it has to do with limited proof of earnings, because many contractors and freelancers might only have a few years worth of bank statements to show their income.

Compare this to a normal employee who has been working in the same job for 15 years, and you can see why they are often favoured.

Not only that, but the contracting and freelancing lifestyle is considered more “erratic,” where you might have a lot of jobs one month and then barely anything the next. A lender likes to see stability, and that is why so many of our nations self employed get refused.

With that being said, there is no ignoring the fact that nearly 5 million people in the UK consider themselves to be self employed, and that is why some lenders are bucking the trend and deciding to go after this untapped market.

“We believe that offering fixed rates, alongside our common sense approach, will give a real boost to those unconventional circumstances that need the help of a pragmatic lender,” said a spokesperson for The Mansfield Building Society.

In my opinion this is a good offer from The Mansfield, with interest rates that are competitive and fees that don’t require too much cash out of your pocket.

So if you are in the market for a contractor mortgage you should definitely contact The Mansfield and check out their new offer.

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“YOU LIE!” – 60% of Self Employed Under-Reporting Tax

Filling in a tax return and sending it off to HMRC is a legal obligation, just make sure you tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

This comes on the back of a new study that quite clearly shows that 60% of our nations self employed under-report the amount of tax they owe.

Are they doing this intentionally? In my opinion, most are not, but that doesn’t change the fact that any inspector will instantly assumed you lied on purpose. This spells one word and one word only…trouble.

That last thing you want is to be investigated by the HMRC because of some mistake on your tax return. You want to be focused on your business, and not up in the dock facing a jury of your peers.

The study is based on analysis of approximately 35,000 audits of tax returns that were chosen at random and carried out by HMRC between the years of 1999 and 2009.

Perhaps online digital tax returns are making things easier for self employed people? That could be true, and many pundits were predicting that quarterly tax returns online could make things even easier. Unfortunately, it seems that the sending in a tax return 4 times a year idea has been scrapped.

The vast majority of tax under-reporting is believed to be under £1000, although the study did mention that around 4% was over £10,000, which of course, is the kind of amount that HMRC are not going to be too pleased about.

Where are the worst self employed offenders? It appears that construction, hospitality and transport sectors have the most, with bed and breakfast owners and taxi drivers being right at the top of the list.

The professor behind the study had this to say: “Between errors and deliberate under-reporting, a significant share of self assessment tax goes unpaid.”

If you ask me, a lot of this could be avoided by hiring an accountant to take care of everything for you.

Many self employed business owners, freelancers and contractors think they are doing everything right when doing their self assessment, but are actually making unintentional mistakes that could jeopardize their business

That is why I advise every single self employed person in the UK to find yourself a good accountant. Don’t assume you are not one of the people under-reporting your tax.

You don’t know until someone trained and experienced goes over your tax form…that person is a qualified accountant, and they make it their number 1 priority to make sure you stay on the right side of HMRC.

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CHAOS EXPECTED Over New Tax Form “Error”

HMRC have come up with a new system where tax forms are already pre-filled with your data, in a bid to make the process of self assessment more simple.

It sounds like a good idea if you ask me, because as all of you contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and business owners will be all too aware, spending hours filling out tax forms is a major hassle.

However, some experts are predicting that around 10% to 20% of these pre filled forms will actually contain errors, which means innocent self employed people around the country are going to be paying too much tax.

Yet again, it is the hard working people of the UK who get taken for a ride, while the super rich billionaire playboys relax in their luxury yachts around Monte Carlo and have never even seen a tax return form. Allegedly anyway.

Many pundits are predicting this “simple assessment” that isn’t so simple will cause chaos around the country, especially when you consider that any error on the form only has 60 days to be challenged and corrected.

A lot of our nations self employed don’t have the time to be going over every sentence on their pre-filled tax return and then having to check it against their books. There are only so many hours in the week, and most of them are spent doing the things that make you money.

For this reason, I would advise every contractor, freelancer, gig worker and business owner to hire an accountant immediately. Let them take care of that side of your business so you can do what you do best.

Any decent accountant will be well versed in the art of finding mistakes on self assessment tax forms, and once found, they can challenge the mistake and get it corrected…all without you having to lift a finger. That’s what you pay them for.

Not sure where to find a good accountant? How about right here at Contractor Accountants, where you can find the details of professionals who specialise in saving you the most amount of money, legally of course, while at the same time making sure you don’t get into trouble with HMRC.

It doesn’t matter how much you are making either. Some contractors and freelancers think that just because they only bring home £30,000 a year they don’t really need an accountant and would be better off doing the books themselves.

Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as that, and the truth of the matter is that thousands of self employed people are paying more tax than they should.

Add to the mix this new pre-filled self assessment form madness, and that is going to be thousands more that have to pay out extra tax.

Do yourself a favour and just hire an accountant. They pay for themselves anyway, so what are you waiting for? You are in the right place to get started.

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Only 3% Learn About Self Employment in Further Education

While the UK is going through a self employment revolution right now it appears your average college and university have not got the memo.

This comes on the back of research which suggests that only 1% of freelance professionals learnt about self employment in college, with a further 2% learning about it in university.

Instead, the message in college and university still very much seems to be a traditional one with “get a job” or “choose a career” being the main things you will hear.

Despite students not hearing words like “go out on your own” or “work for yourself,” that hasn’t deterred the British public from setting up their own shop though, especially 16 to 29 year olds who are really embracing the freelance and contractor lifestyle.

Recent estimates put our nations self employed at nearly 5 million strong, with some experts claiming it won’t be long until we hit 10 million. I’m not sure this figure will be reached anytime soon, but the one thing I do know, is that if college and universities have anything to do with it we won’t ever get there.

To give you an example of how out of touch further education is with self employment…the arts and media industries is currently going through boom times in the UK with thousands of people working for themselves in this area, but in college and universities there is absolutely no education regarding self employment in arts or media subjects.

You couldn’t make it up really, and it just goes to show how far behind the times many of these places are.

Things are changing, although slowly, as organisations such as the IEEC (International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference) are touring cities around the UK to better educate the educators, so to speak.

Not only that, but some further education establishments are catching up and getting with the times. Take Middlesex University as an example, who are currently implementing modules within their courses that provides guidance on entrepreneurship and self employment.

The IPSE (Independent Professionals and the Self Employed) have also gave their opinion on all of this, and what they say is that many young people want to work for themselves but are put off because they don’t yet have a “big idea.”

Maybe TV shows like Dragons Den and The Apprentice have put too much emphasis on the so called “big idea” in order to start a business or go self employed, and this is also what is taught in further education.

Instead, the message to young people should be more realistic if you ask me, with a major focus on the fact that it really is all about getting started and gaining experience.

Sometimes that “big idea” or “big break” comes when you least expect it, but you have to be in a position to take advantage of it.

Of course, many young people are not taught anything about self employment in college and university, which means many of them have to work it out themselves.

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IT Contractor Blamed for BA Computer Fiasco

British Airways had to ground all flights recently as you’re no doubt aware, and they are laying the blame at the door of an IT contractor.

What happened is a computer crash which lasted only 15 minutes caused havoc with the British Airways infrastructure, which then led to all BA flights being grounded.

This meant disruption for an estimated 75,000 passengers, with some experts guessing it could very well cost British Airways around £150 million in compensation.

Well, the buck seems to be stopping with an IT contractor, who according to BA accidentally pressed the wrong button when doing routine maintenance at Heathrow Airport. The contractor obviously didn’t take any notice of the “do not push this button” memo.

Not only that, but when the power was turned back on towards the main supply it appears that the correct procedure was not followed by the contractor, with BA claiming it was turned on way too quickly and this caused too much of a power surge which ultimately led to the computer crash.

At this point I think it’s good to mention that all this is just what British Airways are claiming, and that no guilt or innocence has been proven in a court of law. The IT contractor could be completely innocent for all we know.

Anyway, when the computers went down it caused chaos with BA flights around the world, but especially at Heathrow and Gatwick where check-in, baggage control and the phone lines where all affected.

Passengers were stuck in the airports without being able to get their luggage, while other passengers could not get their flights which meant they ended up being stranded at the airport.

One couple on their honeymoon were stuck at Heathrow Airport for 3 days. Obviously their marriage didn’t get off to the best start.

An insider source to the events commented that the effect of this 15 minute computer crash might cause even more disruption over the coming months, with data still in the system that has yet to emerge.

Some critics were trying to claim that British Airways outsourcing their IT to countries such as India was to blame, but it now appears that the contracting firm involved was an IT contracting firm in the UK.

At the moment they are yet to make a comment about the situation but I’m sure they will release a statement at some point giving their side of the story.

Who knows exactly what went on here? I’m sure the full facts will come out at some point, but what I do know is that IT contractors in the UK are a good bunch who are highly skilled and very much in demand.

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Dominic Chappell Arrested for Alleged Unpaid Tax

You remember Dominic Chappell right…that guy who bought BHS from Philip Green for only a pound? Well, he’s just been arrested.

The reason? While the full report isn’t in yet, they are saying he has an unpaid tax bill of £500,000. Who knows if this is true or not? However, it just goes to show the HMRC will go after you if they have reason to believe you might have done something wrong.

There has always been controversy surrounding this guy though, and around the time he purchased BHS there were many people calling for the whole issue to be investigated.

What some people in the media are saying has happened since the purchase is that BHS paid Chappell’s company, Swiss Rock, a payment of £1.6m, which HMRC have seen nothing of. Experts are estimating that he owes around £365,000 in VAT and nearly £200,000 in tax. Who knows if this is true though.

This comes at a time when many people are saying that Philip Green, the former owner of BHS should also be the focus of closer scrutiny. Let’s wait to see what happens on this one.

BHS, once a profitable company and one of the most successful on the high street, as you are no doubt aware, started to find it difficult to keep up with the competition, and it went on to cost 11,000 jobs as well as the pensions that employees paid into, totalling hundreds of millions.

After that, Philip Green then went on to sell it to Dominic Chappell for £1, and now we are at the point where Chappell has been arrested. Of course, right now he is simply accused of not paying tax, and nothing has been proven in a court of law. He could be totally innocent.

This comes at a time when Philip Green has been facing a lot of criticism, including calls to strip him of the “sir” title that he got awarded. Not only that, but the pension regulator has actually started legal proceedings against Philip Green. Let’s wait to see what happens there.

Ultimately though, when it comes down to it this doesn’t really have any implications for hard working contractors and freelancers out there who are going about their daily business. Sure, it’s interesting to read about these stories, but most people are more interested in doing something like finding the right accountant for their business or getting more clients in competitive industries.


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Small Businesses to be Offered Alternative Finance

Every year there are thousands of small business owners that are turned down for loans, but a new scheme is looking to offer alternative finance.

It seems the mainstream banks don’t want to lend you money if you’re a small business, freelance professional or contractor.

Recent figures show that over £4 billion worth of loan applications are turned down every year, although it now looks as though there is a solution if you are one of those people who just can’t get a loan for your business.

The new scheme, which is being endorsed by the government, will bring small business owners in contact with alternative financing sources, such as online lenders who specialise in bad credit or peer-to-peer lending companies.

My opinion? I think this is a great idea, and long overdue of course, especially when you consider there are thousands of hard-working freelance and contractor professionals who are no being approved for loans.

The figures show that currently only 3% of small businesses who get turned down for a loan seek out alternative financing, but now, with this new scheme and government backing we should be seeing more of the self employed getting the loans they need.

I’ve always said that I think many of the mainstream banks are way out of touch with reality, and some of the criteria they want small business owners to meet in order to get a loan is simply ridiculous. Hopefully, this new scheme will give people the alternative they need to start going away from banks and towards online options that are more with the times.

Even the Chancellor, Philip Hammond agrees with me, as he recently commented, “A refusal from a bank should not be the end of the road for a small business, and thanks to the finance platforms being launched today, now it won’t be.”

This all comes at a time when some of the more well known banks have been getting a lot of criticism for the way they treat small business owners. Well, maybe the tables are about to be turned? Let’s hope so.

One thing to note is that while many small businesses, freelancers and contractors should find it easier to get a loan, that doesn’t mean anyone can get one.

Let’s not go back to the days where being financed was so easy even a new business with no track record could get thousands of pounds overnight, and then a few months later go bankrupt.

Sensible lending is always the way forward, and small businesses should still have to check boxes if they want to be approved, including having a proven track record of sales and profit, as well as a solid business plan.

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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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