Welcome to the News & Blog

Here at ClearSky, we want to keep you up-to-date with all the latest hot topics that may affect you and your business. This could be anything from IR35 to new legislations.

Please feel free to browse the various categories, individual posts and make your comments known to the author.

Enjoy an early Christmas present from ClearSky

There has really never been a better time to become a contractor. With ever-increasing assignment rates and the prospect of a surge in new opportunities, the future certainly seems bright for those embarking on a freelancing career.

Limited company contractors are able to benefit from a wide range of perks, such as unrivalled tax efficiency and robust protection against financial problems. In addition, a recent survey from polling organisation Ipsos MORI and HMRC revealed that 65% of personal service companies (PSCs) reported a healthy profit during 2012-13.

Now, ClearSky is giving would-be company directors a reason to beat the rush and set up their business in time to take home more money from day one in January. … Continue reading

By Tim Moore Beecroft,

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By Mike Youds,

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By Tim Moore Beecroft,

Posted under: News | Leave a comment:

Contractors bask in double-digit pay growth

IT contractors are enjoying a sustained purple patch, as the skills epidemic drives up assignment rates.

This is according to the latest UK Salary and Recruiting Trends report from Hays, which reveals that salaries for technology and construction professionals experienced double-digit growth over the last year – streets ahead of the national average of 1.8%. … Continue reading

By Mike Youds,

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Will compliance contractors be victorious in UK’s talent war?

Contractors with expertise in financial services compliance are set to reap the benefits of Britain’s skills epidemic, according to a new study.

Recruitment firm Morgan McKinley has released its latest London Employment Monitor, which found that the lack of skilled compliance professionals has created a “talent war”. As a result, average salaries across most areas increased by 20-30% in October compared to the previous year.

The study highlighted increasing fines for non-compliance and the fear of attracting future penalties as the two contributing factors to this surge. It claimed hiring managers were prepared to offer “premium salaries” to attract professionals with strong technical knowledge. … Continue reading

By Tim Moore Beecroft,

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Taxman commences crackdown on ‘avoidance experts’

Rogue tax advisors who encourage clients to take up aggressive avoidance schemes risk being named and shamed if they fail to clean up their act.

Using new powers granted by the High-Risk Promoters (HRP) rules, HMRC has issued its first batch of warning letters to companies deemed to be the most prolific offenders. The changes grant the taxman the ability to publish details about companies’ products and also gain access to customers’ details. A fine of up to £1 million could also be imposed.

Only four of the 20 advisories that were described as being “persistently unco-operative and opaque in their dealings” have so far received the letters, with the remaining 16 likely to be targeted in the near future. It is hoped the new measures will act as a deterrent to scheme providers and clients alike. … Continue reading

By Tim Moore Beecroft,

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Hot jobs for 2015: will contractors benefit?

Businesses are locked in a fight to secure the best talent, with nearly three quarters of recruiters describing competition within the jobs market as “fierce”.

This is the view of executive staffing firm CT Partners, which has released its latest Hot Jobs forecast of new and emerging roles for 2015. It anticipates that the “war for talent” will continue throughout next year, with the rise of ‘big data’ creating a raft of new opportunities.

Although these positions are likely to be permanent vacancies, the study could offer an insight into the skills contractor clients will be looking for. … Continue reading

By Tim Moore Beecroft,

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Contractors want the best of both worlds from their accountant

Limited company contractors are divided on how they want to communicate with their accountant, according to our latest client survey.

Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents preferred to take care of their affairs via our online client portal, stating that they did not need a face-to-face meeting with their personal accountant. However, when asked how they would like to communicate with us, some 79% appreciated the personal touch – whether it be a phonecall or via video link.

Although video conferencing is not a service we offer as of yet, some 48% per cent of respondents indicated they would like to communicate with their personal accountants via this method. As a result, we are looking into the possibility of rolling this out in the near future. … Continue reading

By Tim Moore Beecroft,

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BETs are dead, will IR35 be next?

Last week, HMRC announced it was to abolish the much-maligned Business Entity Tests (BETs) after months of intense criticism. This has led several industry commentators to question whether the IR35 legislation itself will soon join them on the scrap heap.

The association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) argued that the controversial legislation should never have been created, labelling the law “a cause of considerable anxiety.” It claimed that abolishing IR35 would save contractors £843 a year as they would no longer be burdened by compliance costs.

While it is difficult to deny that IR35 has been a thorn in the side of many contractors, particularly due to its complicated nature, the chances of it being consigned to the history books are slim at best. … Continue reading

By Tim Moore Beecroft,

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Caution urged over Scottish tax devolution

Devolving tax powers to the Scottish parliament could make the system even more of a “dog’s dinner” than it is now, according to a group of industry experts.

Hastily drawn up in the wake of last month’s independence referendum, the proposals to hand over more power to Holyrood have been met with widespread scepticism. Critics claim that the costs and administrative burden involved in such a move would be a huge obstacle for HMRC to overcome.

In a recent meeting, the Treasury Select Committee was told that tax devolution would create “uncertainty and complexity” within the system, and could result in less revenue for the taxman. Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), warned that neither HMRC nor Revenue Scotland had the capability to simultaneously manage two Pay As You Earn (PAYE) models. … Continue reading

By Tim Moore Beecroft,

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