Top 5 to-do list for new Contractors

So, you’ve found the ideal contract with a great rate in your specialist area. What's next? The next most important thing on that stage is to find a local special contractor accountant.

There are plenty of accountants who will happily take on you as a client. But do they have the specialist expertise in contractor accounts to help you maximise your take home pay, whilst ensuring you are compliant with tax legislation. A specialist contractor accountant should:

1.Be a Qualified accountant

There are a lot of firms who call themselves accountants, but have no recognised accountancy qualification. Dealing with an accountant who is a member of a Chartered organisation, gives you piece of mind you a dealing with a professional who is regulated and must keep up to date with the latest accountancy and tax rules.

2. Facilitate face to face meetings

This is important you want to create a bond with your accountant and trust, being able to go to your accountant’s office. You want to know the people you are entrusting with your business on a level that is not possible with electronic and New telephone communication only.

3. Review your contract for IR35 legislation

IR35 are tax rules which determine whether you are working as a genuine independent contractor or a disguised employee. This impacts on how you can pay yourself and what your after tax income. An IR35 trained accountant will advise on changes to the contract to ensure you contract reflects accurately your position, keeping the tax man happy and your take home pay as high as legally possible. Registering your Company with HMRC for PAYE, Corporation tax and VAT is a given. A contractor accountant can advise on the special schemes HMRC have, such as the flat rate scheme for VAT, which often saves you more than your accountants fees.

4. Advise on the optimum share structure

How you structure your business from the start is important as changing the ownership once the Company is formed can have tax implications. A specialist contractor accountant will advise on the optimum share structure to minimise personal income tax, such as allotting shares to a spouse, where appropriate.

5. Introduce and train you to the appropriate Accountancy software for your needs.

Accountancy software designed specifically for contractors, helps you save time on administration and gives you an accurate position of your financial affairs. Your accountant will be able to train you on how to get the most of the software and assist you in keeping your records up to date and accurate. They will be accredited by the software provider.

For a free consultation feel free to contact us on 0131 220 0152 and we will be happy to explain further. For additional information and help on business development sign up for our free online resources which gives you free access to our help sheet database.