The Association of Professional Staffing Companies says the plans in the new Budget to provide relief to umbrella company contractors could be a positive step.
According to APSCo, the idea that relief could be restricted to people employed through intermediaries – like umbrella contractors – could actually mean the Government is stepping back from its plans to eradicate tax relief for umbrella contract workers completely. While George Osborne made a big to-do about how there would be a crackdown on umbrella companies and other agencies that it thinks is playing fast and loose with the rules to take advantage of tax reliefs for subsistence and traveled, he did say that the Government would be taking steps to protect those who are genuinely in self-employment.
APSCo commented that this will absolutely relate to umbrella companies, but was quick to add that the Government wasn’t clear on what sorts of actions they would be taking. Still, the trade industry body was optimistic that this new development would be good for the industry overall.
I know it sounds mad to think that restricting tax relief is a good thing, but think about it for a minute, especially the way APSCo pointed it out: if the Government is going to be tightening tax relief rules for umbrella company contractors, they’re not exactly going to go through all that trouble if they were just planning on abolishing them altogether. This really points to how the Government has completely abandoned its original plans – and that, my friends, is a serious win for every umbrella contractor who was afraid that their tax relief was about to go up in smoke.
So think about this as well: is this a good reason to vote Tory now in the upcoming elections? This Budget will only go into effect if the Conservatives – God bless them – actually stay in power. There’s no love lost between me and those squirrelly bastards, but can we trust a new Government to stick to this Budget? Or will they decide to go back, revisit those plans to abolish tax relief completely, and leave us all up the creek without a paddle?
See these are the kinds of things that keep me up at night.