George Osborne has delivered his autumn statement and most of the industry press found it a damp squib. Block-busting, world-ending change was hyped for recruiters and temps following earlier unsubstantiated leaks to the Guardian… But for all of this, George uttered not one word on T&S, umbrellas or PSCs. He seems to be listening to us and IR35 may well be left alone – for now.
The devil is in the detail
A quick glance through the Blue Book gives us more detail, however.
3.20 Employment intermediaries and tax relief for travel and subsistence… the government will legislate to restrict tax relief for travel and subsistence expenses for workers engaged through an employment intermediary, such as an umbrella company or a personal service company… Relief will be restricted for individuals working through personal service companies where the intermediaries legislation applies. This change will take effect from 6 April 2016.
3.87 Disguised remuneration – The government intends to take action against those who have used or continue to use disguised remuneration schemes and who have not yet paid their fair share of tax. The government will also consider legislating in a future Finance Bill to close down any further new schemes intended to avoid tax on earned income, where necessary, with effect from 25 November 2015.
Jovan Pavlicevic, managing director of forest, responded to the autumn statement:
There are hundreds of articles and experts clamouring to be heard, with many making bold predictions about the fate of entire industries based on a couple of less-than-concrete sentences. Our advice is hold steady – don’t make any rash decisions. As more details emerge, we’ll be the first to keep you updated, but don’t go changing your business model in a hurry.
Forest launched the month AWR went live. AWR was at the time heralded as the end of temp recruitment and certainly the death of umbrellas. In the intervening four years we’ve grown from a team of one to a team of over 20, and grown through AWR, RTI, pensions, intermediaries reporting, onshore, offshore and more. Not only have we grown, we’ve helped our agency clients grow too, protecting their margin and keeping them, and their end clients compliant.
For over 6 months now we’ve been working closely with our advisers, adding our weight to the consultation process and engaging with HMRC on these topics. Watch this space for changes and possibly for umbrella 2.0 to emerge. December 9th is a key date for your diary and we’ll be keeping you informed.
As ever, the only constant in this sector is change. And, as ever, it’s not the strongest of the species who survive, or the biggest, but the ones most adaptable to change.
Speak with one of our qualified experts today to find out how forest can help you stay adaptable.