By Jonathan London on 2nd April 2014

Finance Bill 2014 – what it means for freelancers?

The Finance Bill 2014 has now been published by the government, meaning that the tax changes which were announced last year are now in force. Contractors and freelancers should make themselves aware of the new legislation in order to ensure that their finances and taxes are compliant with the system.

Key aspects of the bill include clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion, supporting the growth of the economy and a greater emphasis on helping hard working households.

In relation to tax avoidance, a new measure has now been put in place that will mean users of tax avoidance schemes Рwhich have been defeated in a previous party̢۪s litigation Рwill pay the tax which is disputed up front. This will also apply for those who used a scheme which falls within either the new General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) or the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Scheme (DOTAS) rules.

More action will also be taken to prevent the avoidance of employment tax, with the government keen to stop onshore and offshore intermediaries from shirking their obligations when it comes to tax.

Under the new legislation, those who claim to be self-employed falsely will find it more difficult to do so. This will help clamp down on tax evasion and stop those disguising employment in this way from bringing other self-employed workers, like freelancers, into disrepute.

Exchequer secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke said:

“The government’s long-term economic plan is to build a stronger, more competitive economy and a fairer society.

“The tax changes implemented in this bill will help support the next stage of the plan to create a more resilient economy by supporting businesses, working households and savers, and taking action against those who try to dodge their tax obligations.”

The Main Impact of the Finance Bill 2014

  • Self-Employment will need to be fully proved – there should be no supervision, direction or control over the individual
  • The ‘right of substitution’ defence for workers has been abolished
  • Agency Directors will now become personally responsible for any unpaid PAYE tax owed by their workers
  • Intermediaries are required to follow strict record keeping processes

The majority of the Finance Bill 2014 measures were mentioned in this year’s Budget by chancellor George Osborne (here’s our own review), which has so far been positively received by the freelance community.

Other actions include the starting rate for income tax on savings being reduced from ten per cent to zero as well as the extension of the band to which it applies being changed from £2,880 to £5,000.

Furthermore, the tax-free personal allowance will be increased to £10,000 for the financial year 2014-15 and then again to £10,500 in the following years, as the government looks to reward taxpayers in the UK.#

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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