When you’re contracting, you have to make sure that you’re aware of truth and facts when it comes to umbrella companies. It is easy to lose track when selecting umbrella company because you will be looking at many PAYE umbrella payroll companies offering expenses dispensation, IR35 compliance, and HMRC approval. HMRC umbrella companies are just fraud. They are just using it as a marketing message. The truth is that these umbrella companies only fulfill the contracting chain. These HMRC umbrella companies do not have any special expenses dispensation and IR35 is irrelevant to umbrella companies.
Umbrella companies provide an excellent solution for short-term contracting. These companies connect contractors with clients and provide administration services to make things easy. However, they have nothing to do with IR35. Every contractor working through umbrella company is an employee of the company. This simply means that contractors working through these companies are already within IR35 and they pay tax and NI according to that.

Are Umbrella companies HMRC compliant?

Another important thing to know about umbrella companies is that these companies advertise as HMRC compliant. In fact, HMRC doesn’t approve any service providers. However, umbrella companies will have to be fully compliant and follow laws and HMRC guidelines in order to ensure that their procedure is compliant. This doesn’t mean that contractors don’t have to worry about HMRC.

Similarly, many umbrella companies advertise that they have special dispensation granted. This is not the truth. HMRC allows dispensation to all the larger companies so that they can easily manage day to day affairs without having to keep records of petty office expenses. This is just for the company and not for its employees. Contractors, being umbrella company employees, will still have to follow tax laws and submit receipts for all their expenses.

When you choose an umbrella company, you just have to make sure that you are not wasting your time on companies that market using features that are only natural for all the HMRC umbrella companies. Choose wisely and look for cost, feedback of services, and administrative efficiency.

Current Umbrella legislation

When you enter the world of contracting, you need to understand that you have learn everything about it. You have to learn about umbrella companies since they are the major concern for part-time contractors. On the other hand, if you are a full-time contractor and you’re looking to stay that way for long-term, you still  need to know about umbrella companies and what you can get from them. You will also have to learn about IR35, dispensation as well as HMRC compliance.

Many umbrella companies advertise themselves as HMRC and IR35 complaint. To begin, you have to clear this confusion. Keep in mind that umbrella companies enjoy dispensation but that is just for the company expenses and not for contractors. Since most companies advertise this as one of the benefits of joining them, it is important that you know it in detail. Dispensation is usually allowed to the larger companies so that they don’t have to worry about routine expense. However, contractors, who are working as employees of these companies, have nothing to do with dispensation. These contractors will have to show receipts of all the expense they file in the tax.

The big bad IR35

Umbrella companies also advertise that they are IR35 complaint. The fact is umbrella companies don’t have anything to do with IR35. In fact, IR35 is not a concern when you’re working through an umbrella company since you will be working as their employee and not as a contractor for tax matters. The company will automatically deduct your tax and NI contributions and will make the payments on time. On the other hand, when you are operating through your own limited company, you have to think about IR35 and try to keep your contracts out of the scope of this legislation to keep your income to the maximum and tax to the minimum.

On the other hand, umbrella companies offer a great advantage when it comes to management, administration, and payment solutions. This means that you don’t have to worry about asking clients for payments, sending them invoices, or submitting your timesheet. You can simply use umbrella company’s online system to keep track of your work hours. The company will send your worksheet to the client and ask for payment. After it receives the payment, it will then deduct NI and tax and send the remaining over to your bank account. As an umbrella contractor, you won’t have to worry about tax or other things. Umbrella Contractor Company will take care of everything in administrative zone for you.

When you are new in contracting in the UK, you have to learn about a few things before you can really get moving. One of the most important things to learn is to understand how it all works in the UK. You will also have to learn about related legislation, rules and tax issues. Once you know all these things, you will be able to become a better contractor.

Apart from all these things, you will also have to learn about umbrella companies. Although these companies offer number of advantages, they also have some disadvantages especially if you have been blinded by a clever marketing pitch. For instance, you may think that working through an umbrella will mean that you can claim certain expenses without actually incurring them. This isn’t true and is just a marketing ploy. You don’t get to claim any expenses unless you can prove them through receipts.

Umbrella companies may advertise their dispensation as ‘claim expenses to increase your take home pay’. Think about it carefully. Dispensation is for large companies, especially granted by HMRC. However, this is for the company matters and not for its employees or contractors. As an umbrella employee, you won’t have to do anything with it. You will still be providing receipts for your expenses. You won’t be able to claim any expense that doesn’t have its proof –  or said simply, you can’t claim an expense unless you have actually incurred it.

Despite the negative marketing that some umbrella companies do practice, you will have number of benefits working through a genuine umbrella company. It will not only take care of your administrative matters but will also ensure that you don’t have to worry about payments, tax or anything else for that matter.

Finding the right umbrella may seem like a tough choice with so many options available to contractors. However, if you look at a company’s history and its business ethics along with cost and services, you will quickly find out the best umbrella company in the UK.

When you are about to start contracting in the United Kingdom, you’ve to make sure that you’re choosing the umbrella company wisely. You will have number of options and all you will have to do is to make the right choice. However, you won’t find it easy. Just try to make sure that you are not rushing your decision.

Staying on the right side of HMRC

If you’re not sure about making the right choice, you have to make sure that you are reading all the tips below.

  • When choosing an umbrella company, you have to make sure that you’re checking its reputation. This is the most important thing to consider at this stage. Other things come only after that.
  • You will also have to make sure that you are checking the fee of the company. Although almost all the companies charge almost the same, you still need to consider the fee since some companies will be charging hidden charges. Inquire the company about these hidden charges before you join the company.
  • Check out the testimonials of the company. Most of the times, you will have a good idea about a company’s performance when you see reviews from other contractors. It will be easy to decide in the light of these reviews.
  • You may also want to check whether the company is offering its own portal for contractors or not. This will mean that you have your private online area for timesheets so that you don’t have to do it on paper.
  • Finally, make sure that the contractor umbrella of your choice is offering something special, something that other companies are not offering. This will give you value for your money.

Umbrella companies will always process your invoice, deduct your tax and NI,  and do the payment processing for you. Therefore, these are the standard services to look for when choosing an umbrella company in the UK.