Accounting for Contractors

The contractor and freelancing industry is booming in Kent, adding a big boost to our local economy. The South East is the top location in the UK for contracting, making up over 20% of the UK total. With easy access to London and excellent links to Europe, Kent is a great place to be a contractor.

train going through ashford international

As more and more companies look to contractors and freelancers with specific skills the contractor model is becoming increasingly attractive. Contractors enjoy increased freedom and variety of roles as well as all the benefits of being your own boss.

With a wealth of projects and businesses across Kent and the South East region that require contract workers our specialist contractor accountants focus on advising UK contractors and freelancers from a range of industries and roles including:

 

IT, Technology & Software
Finance, Business Analysts
Project & Programme Management
Engineering / Construction / Trades
Web Designers & Developers
Nurses & Doctors

Accountancy services for contractors

Limited company set up and advice

Once you have decided that contracting is the right long term option, operating your contract business via a limited company is the best option for most contractors. It gives you control over your business finances and is more advantageous for tax purposes. Before you begin trading as a limited company you will need to:

  • Form your limited company. To set up a limited company it must first be “incorporated” by registering it with Companies House. We can help you decide on an appropriate name for your company, register it with Companies House as well as prepare and send your annual accounts to them.
  • Open a dedicated business bank account in the name of your company. We’ll help you decide which business account is best for your company. Banks and building societies usually charge fees for business banking, we can provide independent advice to ensure you get the best deal.
  • Decide on the best VAT position. We can advise on whether to join the flat rate VAT scheme. This is a scheme set up by HMRC to make it easier for contractors to charge and collect VAT. Depending on your industry it may be advantageous for you to join because you will charge your clients at the flat rate of 20% and may pay at a lower rate, for example, IT and software consultants pay 14.5% giving them a net benefit of 5.5%. Check the rates for your industry here.
  • Register for PAYE – most limited company contractors will want to pay themselves small salaries taxed via the PAYE system with the bulk of income being drawn from dividends. However, as an employee of the company you need to account for PAYE and National Insurance due to HMRC each month.
  • Set up Professional Indemnity Insurance – this is vital for contractors that offer advice or professional services to their clients. It is designed to cover any potential losses caused by faulty advice made to the client.
  • Invoice Clients and Record Expenses – this is where it gets exciting, getting paid for the work that you do! In order to make sure you get paid everything that is due you need to keep accurate records of invoices charged to your clients and the expenses that you claim. We use these to prepare your annual accounts and VAT returns.

IR35 advice

IR35 legislation was brought in by the government to prevent employers from using limited company contractors in roles that were essentially the same as full time positions. Both employers and contractors would benefit by avoiding having to pay income taxes and national insurance.

As a contractor, understanding whether you fall inside or outside IR35 can be complicated. We will help make sure you stay on the right side of the legislation. This can mean the difference between paying significantly more tax as a ‘disguised employee’ or realising the tax efficiency benefits of operating as a limited company.

Contractor accounting and tax advice

Our team of contractor specialists will save you time so that you can focus on the work that you do best. Our service includes:

  • Monthly payroll and Real Time Information (RTI) submissions
  • Management of invoices and expenses using Xero
  • Tax efficient advice on how much to pay yourself each month
  • Quarterly VAT returns, annual accounts and corporation tax return
  • Self Assessment tax returns

Explore our latest blogs

A Small Business and Self-Employed Guide to Pensions

After years of hard work, at some point, we’ll all want to finally stop working and get out of the day to day grind of being in business. However, without securing your pension, this future may be out of reach. Whether you choose to retire at home or relocate to another country, you’ll still need […]

Read more

What Business Expenses can I Claim?

Staying profitable as a small or medium-sized business is enough of a challenge that you don’t want to be paying more taxes for your expenses than you ought to. Here are the business expenses you can claim when filing your tax return. 1. Office Expenses You can claim expenses on the items that keep your […]

Read more

A Guide to Funding your Small Business or Startup

Startups are built on amazing ideas, but turning those ideas into reality will always require some form of financial backing. This can be one of the biggest challenges for a brand new business. Here’s our essential guide to help entrepreneurs and startups with bright ideas find the funding they need.

Read more

Read more from our blog

Top