Whilst the exciting world of international contracting offers a variety of advantages and opportunities it also comes with its own specific hurdles. In recent years contractors have highlighted with government these hurdles in a hope that their unique circumstances can be taken into account and solutions offered. However, opinion on government amongst contractors is still reported as low and often referred to as what contractors believe to be a ‘persecution’ by their government.
With one in seven workers now classed as self-employed recent elections and campaigning have seen a targeting of this niche in a hope to win their confidence and several progressive groups and reviews have been put in place in order to properly address the issues that the self-employed face.
However, with this said we now look at the first Autumn Statement held by the Conservative government on 25 November 2015 to see its effects on contractors.
Prior to the Autumn Statement there had been strong indications that tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses available to contractors via personal service companies was to be restricted. Although this has not materialised it was indicated that this is still to be implemented April 2016 despite the fact that this is still currently under consultation.
Another item that was widely predicted did not appear at all in the Statement and this was the classing of contractors as employees after only one month’s work for a client. This would have had a major impact on contractors and it is believed that the outcry that accompanied the reports may have influenced the government’s decision not to proceed with this.
So although the much feared classing of contractors did not materialise there is no evidence to say that this is not something that the government is still contemplating introducing and although it would seem that there is still scope for tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses this is definitely something that the government will be challenging in the very near future. So despite the governments declared commitment to the self-employed it would seem that the Autumn Statement did nothing to change the view of contractors regarding the supposed ‘persecution’.
If you are currently a contractor or thinking of entering the field of international contracting and are concerned regarding the various hurdles that you may be facing please do not hesitate to contact us and our experience staff will be able to discuss with you our various solutions designed to assist you every step of the way.