Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increases The national living wage and the minimum wage will rise from April 2019. Over two million workers will see their pay increase next April, as the National Living Wage increases to £8.21 an hour. This is the hourly rate for those aged 25 or over and working in Britain The minimum wage for those aged 16-24 also will also increase, whilst the pay for apprentices will increase by 20p an hour.v

Delivered by Chancellor Philip Hammond on Monday, the 2018 Budget had some important announcements for small businesses, contractors and freelancers.

The statement was welcomed by some business figureheads, but criticised by others. In this blog post, we unpack some of the key announcements and explain how they may affect your business finances.

Is HMRC’s IR35 checking tool accurate?

HMRC’s long awaited Employment Status Indicator (ESI) tool has now gone live, less than a month before the all-important IR35 rule change for limited company contractors in the public sector.
And it has raised a few eyebrows.

HMRC insist that the ESI isn’t completely finished yet, and so you might expect a few results to be incorrect, but some experts think that the problems go a little deeper than that.

Benefit from Tax Relief on Contractor Expenses

If you are a contractor or freelancer then you have probably read various doom and gloom reports on how the Government is clamping down on the various tax reliefs you can currently legitimately receive.
There have also been consistent rumours for years that IR35 will be replaced and it will be almost impossible for contractors to work through their own limited company and benefits from the tax incentives this currently offers.
From next April there is also the new Dividend tax.

Was the budget kind to the self-employed?

Having been battered by some recent budget statements, contractors and other self-employed workers might have had a sense of foreboding as Philip Hammond stood to deliver his budget speech to the Commons yesterday.
Rumours circulating in the run-up to budget day didn’t help matters. It was widely reported that the Chancellor could extend public-sector IR35 compliance rules to the private sector and it was rumoured that the VAT threshold could be lowered.

Freeagent IR35

IR35 is a key issue for anyone contracting through their own limited company.