Employment intermediaries given updated advice for contractors
Employment intermediaries who are required to provide quarterly reports about the contractors that they have on their books have received updated guidance from HM Revenue and Customs about the changes to the reporting requirements.
The department released an online note last week in which they reassured those affected that they had made changes to their reporting requirements in order to reduce the regulatory burden wherever possible.
This means that contractors, agents, intermediaries and others who will need to use the new reporting system now have their own official guidelines, in addition to HMRC’s overview of the applicable rules.
These include some clarification of the timescales involved, such as the fact that reports need to be made ‘at least’ quarterly, which will be a relief to those who were still unsure after the original start date was pushed back from November 2014 to August 2015.
The delay was originally caused by a degree of uncertainty about the rules, meaning that the taxman appeared relatively lenient, but the new guidelines are more focussed on the penalties that will be applied in the event of late or erroneous reporting.
Reports that are not completed will attract a fine of £250 the first time, rising to £500 and £1000 for further offences within a twelve month period. This means that filing an incomplete report more than twelve months after a previous one has been filed will still only incur a £250 fine the second time.
However, HMRC has warned that repeated failure to provide the correct information in a timely manner could result in penalties being applied for every day that the report is outstanding.
They have also detailed a new appeals process, including the fact that missing reports that are filed before the next reporting deadline will be considered by the department when deciding whether to issue a fine or not.
If you are a contractor, then you could benefit from our guide to contractor tax which has plenty of useful information about what you can expect when you work for yourself. We also have a handy contractor take home pay calculator to give you an idea of what you could be earning as well as a FREE 60-page guide to contracting which has plenty of hints and tips.
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