For anyone who is self-employed, it is crucial that you know where you stand in relation to IR35. At Gorilla Accounting, we work in partnership with Kingsbridge to offer you a free IR35 review to help you remain IR35 compliant.
A Brief Introduction to IR35
IR35 is the government’s way of identifying whether a person is an employee or a contractor. The intention is to weed out disguised employees. These are people who are employees, who’s employer has chosen to class as a contractor to avoid paying Employer’s National Insurance or providing the employee with the correct rights and benefits under employment law. The economic loss from people misclassifying themselves as contractors is estimated to be around £1.2 billion per year.
If a person is found to be inside IR35, they are required to pay tax and national insurance contributions in the same way that employees do. The most recent IR35 reform, which came into effect in April 2021, places the responsibility for assessing contractors on their employment status, in the hands of the end client. With the onus of determining employment status now on the end client or agency, concerns have been raised as to how this will affect contractors, as they are no longer responsible for working out how much national insurance or tax they are paying.
To put it simply; if you are a genuine contractor or freelancer who works on their own terms, it is likely that your contracts will fall outside IR35. Those who fall outside of IR35 are not controlled or supervised like an employee is, they can send a substitute in the event that they are unable to work, and are not obliged to carry out any other work other than the specified project they have been contracted to do.
If your situation differs from those points, then you will likely be classed by HMRC as being within IR35, meaning you need to pay national insurance contributions and income tax. HMRC may choose to investigate you or your business to check whether you fall inside or outside of IR35, and if their assessment deems you to be within IR35 when you have been working under the assumption that you fall outside of it, you could find yourself with some unexpectedly large bills to pay.
Even if you’re certain that you fall outside of IR35 as a contractor, getting clued up on HMRC IR35 investigations and what you need to know, and taking advantage of a free IR35 assessment, only available from Kingsbridge through Gorilla Accounting, is the best way to ensure you’re operating within the law.
How a Free IR35 Assessment Could Help You
If you are concerned about the financial implications IR35 may have on your business or livelihood – don’t panic. As limited company accountants, we understand that IR35 can be a minefield for contractors – but it doesn’t have to be.
As mentioned, when you take out your contractor insurance policy through Gorilla Accounting, you’ll receive a free IR35 Review worth £50 from Kingsbridge, so you can review your current status and get peace of mind.
It’s now over five months since the IR35 reforms came into effect and the dust is beginning to settle, but we’re still hearing stories of contractors being subject to blanket bans. Plus, in a recent survey Kingsbridge carried out, just 14% of contractors said they would accept an inside determination.
If you need to check your IR35 status, you could use HMRC’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool to see whether you are considered employed or self-employed for tax purposes. However, since the IR35 reform in April 2021, many CEST users have reported receiving inconclusive or confusing results. This isn’t ideal for contractors who need to be sure of their IR35 status.
Kingsbridge are experts in IR35 legislation, so they also provide an award-winning IR35 tool available for contractors, recruiters and clients, ensuring they can determine the IR35 status of a contract. The hybrid tool combines an automatic review function with manual intervention by Kingsbridge’s expert IR35 team for any indeterminate results.
In fact, Kingsbridge is currently the only IR35 assessment service offering an automated review process and in-house consultancy for inconclusive cases, so you can rest assured your results will be clear.
This review allows contractors to engage in conversation with recruiters and clients and to figure out why they should continue operating through a limited company. You’ll get an instant determination on your status and can download a report that can be distributed to your end clients.
In summary, the free IR35 assessment you’ll receive as part of your package with Gorilla Accounting will give you the peace of mind that you are operating correctly inside or outside of IR35, depending on your circumstances.
Kingsbridge’s expertise also extends to their contractor insurance packages, which is essential for safeguarding yourself and your business, and there are many different policies available. If you’re just starting out as a contractor or freelancer you may not know who to listen to, whose advice to take or what insurance package you should be looking for. Even if you’re an experienced contractor who has been working for a long time, business insurance can be a minefield.
We’re primarily Limited Company Accountants here at Gorilla, but that’s not where our services end. We’ve teamed up with Kingsbridge Contractors Insurance to offer our clients no-nonsense, comprehensive contractor insurance that will protect against every eventuality. Their one-package, full cover approach to insurance has been meticulously designed to ensure protection against all the main exposures that could affect your business. That’s not all though, as Gorilla Accounting customers can also receive a free IR35 assessment from Kingsbridge when they choose us for their accountancy services.
Let’s look at why contractor insurance is so important, the benefits of choosing Gorilla for your contractor accountancy and insurance needs and how a free IR35 assessment can help you.
What is Contractors Insurance?
If you’re a self-employed contractor or you run a contracting business, then you need to ensure you are covered by business insurance. The kind of cover you need will depend on your sector and the type of work you are carrying out for your customers. In all cases, you need to ensure you have contractor insurance that will cover you and your business against claims that may be made against you, your employees, or your work. Let’s look at the most common types of business insurance and the cover they provide.
If you are a contractor who works anywhere that means you may encounter the public or directly with your clients, then you will need to have a public liability policy in place. Public liability insurance – sometimes called general or third-party liability insurance, provides protection against injury sustained because of a freelancer or contractor’s negligence. It also protects against any damage made to third party property – including your clients’ property. It is important to know that public liability insurance doesn’t cover faulty workmanship, but it does cover any damages awarded, legal fees, costs and expenses associated with the claim.
There is no legal limit to the amount of public liability insurance you are required to hold as a freelancer or contractor, however, to comply with contractual obligations of clients and agencies it is typical to hold at least £5,000,000 in cover. Even if your contract does not stipulate having public liability insurance in place, it is still wise to take out a policy, as costs from claims can be steep if you are not insured.
Employers’ Liability Insurance
This is a compulsory insurance for any business that has employees, including sub-contractors. It is the only type of insurance required by law for businesses who employ staff – and that includes even if your employee is a family member who undertakes simple administrative jobs for you.
Employers’ Liability Insurance covers negligence claims made again employers by their employees if they are injured or fall ill as a result of their working conditions for which the employer is responsible. Even if you do not have any employees of your own, it is highly recommended that you take out employers’ liability insurance to ensure you are covered against every eventuality. You may also find that it is a requirement in your client contracts, and it will help future-proof your business should you decide to expand your workforce in the future.
When you take out contractor insurance with Kingsbridge through Gorilla Accounting, employers’ liability insurance is included as standard. It has little influence on the overall price of your policy, giving you value for money as well as peace of mind, no matter your situation.
Professional indemnity insurance is designed to cover the cost of defending damages or compensation claims made against you by a client for any errors or omissions you may have made. These kinds of errors arise when you give incorrect advice and breach your professional duties. Professional indemnity also covers things like losing documents, data, breaching intellectual property and defamation.
Whilst there is no law that makes professional indemnity insurance compulsory, if you do make a mistake or offer advice that is later deemed as negligent, the financial repercussions can run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. Having a policy in place will ensure you are covered for any compensation you have to pay to the claimant and the cost of any legal fees you incur.
Perhaps most importantly, a valid professional indemnity insurance policy is an IR35 indicator – recognised by HMRC as a marker of genuine self-employment and a contributor to determining outside of IR35 status.
Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance
This insurance is specifically designed to offer cover to sole-traders and limited company contractors in circumstances where they may be held personally liable. It will provide cover if you or your business are held responsible for financial mismanagement, a breach of legislation, health and safety or company law. If an external regulator, the taxman, or your client thinks you haven’t been playing by the rules, directors’ and officers’ liability insurance provides a safety net against these types of claims.
Occupational Accident Cover
If you suffer an injury that affects your ability to work, you could be looking at significant financial loss, particularly if you are a sole-trader, contractor or freelancer who depends entirely on being healthy enough to work to earn an income. Personal accident cover ensures that you still receive an income whilst you are injured and out of work, no matter who was responsible for the injury. If your accident leaves you with a permanent disability or results in death, a lump sum will be paid out to help support you or your family. It isn’t nice to think about, but that’s why it’s best to have cover like this in place – to prepare for every situation.
Contractor Insurance Made Easy
We understand there’s a lot to take in when it comes to contractor insurance – but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. When you take out Kingsbridge insurance through Gorilla Accounting, all the above is included in your policy as standard.
Kingsbridge have designed their core product to take into the consideration all the key policies that contractors and freelancers might need. All five of the main insurance policies are covered under one package – taking the hassle and choosing contractor insurance. All you need to do is ensure the level of cover provided by Kingsbridge meets the requirements of your contract.
One of the perks of choosing to take out your insurance policy with Kingsbridge through Gorilla accounting is that you’ll receive a free IR35 assessment from Kingsbridge – a benefit that is only available to our clients. But what is IR35?
Benefits of Choosing Gorilla for Your Accounting and Contractor Insurance
We understand that contractors, freelancers, sole-traders, and limited company owners need more than just an accountant these days. We do as much as possible so you can have access to all the services you need to keep your business running smoothly. There are so many perks to choosing Gorilla Accounting, like the free IR35 assessment, only available to our clients through Kingsbridge.
We always try to provide flexibility for our clients and all our services are carefully selected with our customers in mind. For example, When you take out an accountancy package with us, you’ll receive access to our FreeAgent accounting software at no extra cost. This cloud-based accountancy software allows you to manage your business from wherever you are in the world.
Gorilla Accounting offers a wide range of services to a diverse selection of clients across many different sectors. Whether you’re looking for limited company accountants or sole trader accountants, we will have an accountancy package suitable for your business.
Contractor Insurance has never been simpler than with Kingsbridge – and of course, there’s the bonus of a free IR35 assessment, exclusive to our customers. Join Gorilla Accounting to take advantage of this amazing offer.