What are alphabet shares and why do contractors need to be aware of them?

What are alphabet shares?

 

Limited Companies are traditionally formed with a nominal number of ordinary shares. As the company grows and more shareholders are added, alphabet shares are certainly something to consider.

 

In this blog, our Personal Accountant Patrick Gribben explores what alphabet shares are and how they could be of benefit to you.

 

Dividend waivers vs alphabet shares

Dividends are received by all the shareholders of a Limited Company, in proportion to their personal shareholdings. Should there be a need for one shareholder to be paid a different amount to the other shareholders, there either needs to be a dividend waiver or the share structure needs to be amended.

 

  • If you believe you’ll use dividend waivers on a regular basis to distribute company profits disproportionately to the same class of shareholder, then it’s advised to use alphabet shares as a permanent alternative method.
  • HMRC are more likely to question dividend waivers
  • Waivers can be seen as unreliable as all shareholders must give their consent each time
  • Alphabet Shares do not need the consent of all shareholders, as dividends are declared by reference to shares held, meaning that dividends declared as being payable to holders of Ordinary shares have no bearing on dividends declared as being payable to holders of an Alphabet share
  • It is possible to attribute rights or restrictions to alphabet shares. This could be in relation to voting rights or or rights to distribution on wind up.
  • Alphabet shares allow freedom and flexibility in paying dividends, so payments can be made to a certain class of share without having to pay the same amount in dividends to each company shareholder. If your Limited Company’s shareholders are taxed at higher rates than one another (if at all) then alphabet shares are a particularly good idea.

 

Settlement Rules

Whether you decide to use dividend waivers or alphabet shares, it’s important to understand whether either is caught by the Settlement Legislation.  In short, the Settlement Legislation is designed to expose and punish anyone who uses dividend waivers or alphabet shares purely to divert income from one person to another, thus resulting in a tax advantage.

 

For alphabet shares it’s particularly important to understand that a lack in voting rights (for example) could result in being caught by the Settlement Legislation.

 

To ensure you do not fall foul of the Settlement Rules, we advise you do the following:

 

  • Any new shares made under the alphabet scheme must be an outright gift and have exactly the same rights as the original ordinary shares. Restrictions cannot apply (such as being non-voting, carrying lesser rights to capital, or promise to return shares on demand). You must not make the shares redeemable preference shares.
  • If you decide to gift shares to spouses, it’s recommended to show that they have an active interest in the running of the company, such as becoming a director, the company’s secretary or even an administrator.
  • Only pay dividends into a bank account that holds the recipient’s name (such as joint accounts) to ensure you don’t attract unwanted HMRC attention.
  • Remember that in order to claim Entrepreneur’s Relief should you decide to sell the company, a 5% share is required.
  • Pay some dividends to each type of share, so as to minimise the risk of HMRC claiming that dividends should not be paid, unless one class of share was not allocated any dividend.

 

Should you have any questions about alphabet shares and how they could compliment your Limited Company, speak to one of our expert advisers today.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

What is the subsistence allowance for contractors?

What is the subsistence allowance for contractors?

It’s a regular part of many contractors’ lives to travel away from home for business related purposes. This travel could be to and from a client’s workplace in order to complete work, or making journeys elsewhere which are directly related to the work being done for the client. In some cases an extra early start, a late finish, or staying away from home overnight may also be needed in order to fulfil the client’s requirements.

During these times food and other subsistence expenses will be incurred – after all you are human! Fortunately, the taxman recognises these subsistence costs as legitimate allowable business expenses for Limited Company contractors, if their contract is found to be outside of IR35. HMRC have a number of subsistence claim options available which may be applicable to you and your business. It pays to take a look at these and make sure you’re claiming all that’s due to you.

Making a claim for subsistence expenses

For subsistence claims to be valid the following must apply:

  • The journey itself must be a legitimate business journey
  • Money must actually have been spent
  • Receipts must be available where required

 

The option for making UK subsistence claims:

Flat rate claim

This is also known as a ‘scale rate’ or ‘benchmark’ claim. HMRC have published rates for certain subsistence items which they will accept without the need for receipts to prove the claim. You do not need to ask HMRC that you wish to use the subsistence scale rates before you start claiming.

 

The current rates for UK subsistence are:

  • Breakfast rate:  Up to £5.00 per day can be claimed for the cost of breakfast away from home where the contractor leaves much earlier than usual or before 6:00am.
  • One meal rate:  Up to £5.00 per day can be claimed for the cost of a meal where the contractor is away from home for between five and ten hours and returns to their permanent place of work, or home before 8pm
  • Two meal rate:  Up to £10.00 per day can be claimed for the costs of meals where the contractor is away from home for at least 10 hours and returns to their permanent place of work, or home before 8pm
  • Late evening meal rate: Where the contractor is away from home for either between 5 and 10 hours or more than 10 hours and returns after 8pm they can claim either the £5 or £10 rate plus a supplementary £10.

 

If you are away overnight the daily subsistence rates do not apply. Instead, you can apply the overnight rules which allow actual hotel costs to be claimed in addition to ‘Incidental Overnight Expenses’ at HMRC rates. These allow for personal items such as laundry and newspapers.

 

The current rates for these are:

  • £5.00 per night for overnight stays in the UK
  • £10.00 per night for overnight stays outside the UK
  • Incidental Overnight Expenses don’t need to be included on a dispensation as there are no more dispensations. If they are in line with the above rates, they don’t need to be reported on your P11D.

For more detailed information on this topic, download the Intouch Guide Subsistence Claims for Contractors.

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Dividends – how often should I take them, and when are they actually taxed?

Dividends

 

Dividends can sometimes be difficult to understand and many contractors find themselves wondering when they should take them and when do they actually get taxed?

 

In this blog our Director, Duncan Strike answers these two questions and covers the timing and tax point of dividend declarations.

 

Question 1: When are dividends taxed? Is it when they’re paid, or the date they’re declared?

 

Neither of these answers are correct. A dividend will be included on your tax return, according to the date the dividend was declared as becoming payable. The date it was paid is not relevant.

 

For example:

A dividend declared 1 April 2017, that was payable on 7 April 2017, is included as income for the 2017/18 tax year. The amount would be classed as a loan, if it was paid on 4 April, until 7 April. It would not change the tax year it’s regarded as a dividend.

 

Remember! Should HMRC decide to investigate, in order to support all dividends, keep copies of all dividend vouchers and minutes. Your contractor accountant should have a dividend template for you to use, then simply send them a copy every time you use it.

 

Tax planning opportunities

If you have some of your basic rate tax band left, have sufficient profits in your company and for whatever reason, you don’t want to pay yourself a dividend at that time, you’re able to declare a dividend immediately payable, if you intend to take the cash at a later date. This means you can fully utilise your tax allowances year on year, as it ensures the dividend falls into a specific tax year.

 

Don’t forget that as of 6 April 2016, the new £5,000 dividend allowance was introduced and still applies for 2017/18. It’s worth taking at least £5,000 in dividends, as this amount is tax free, regardless of which tax band you fall into. We will review the level of dividend allowance available and amend this as necessary. Use our new dividend calculator to find out how much you’ll pay in dividend tax this tax year.

 

Question 2: How often should you pay yourself dividends? What are the dangers of monthly payments looking like disguised salary?

 

We generally recommend our clients to pay themselves dividends, either monthly or quarterly. You can, however, pay them to yourself whenever you wish.

 

As long as the correct dividend voucher and minutes paperwork are in place and your company has sufficient funds to cover the distributions, there’s little chance that HMRC will see your dividends as salary.

 

We do advise all clients to keep their salary and dividend payments completely separate from one another and pay all shareholders separately in the correct proportions, so that a clear audit trail can be provided. Should you be subject to an HMRC review, having clear audit trails in place can make all the difference, as every item is easy to trace and nothing has been missed or hidden.

If you’re looking for specialist, tailored advice regarding dividends, that’s unique to you and your circumstances, speak to our team today to find out how Intouch can help you. Our Personal Accountants are here to be your guide, to ensure you get the best and most from contracting.

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

IR35 textbooks and legislation aside: we’re all still guessing about the public sector

What the team at Intouch thinks will happen next

It’s one thing to know the ins and outs of the legislation, and another to anticipate how everything will play out in practice over the coming months. Everyone, including Intouch, has a view on this and it does of course depend upon the attitude to risk of the public sector body. For example, TfL’s approach of “no more PSCs, thank you” compared to the MoD’s “let’s assess everyone fully then decide”. Outcomes will also be influenced by the degree of reliance upon the technical expertise involved and ability to substitute or replace the worker.

 

Unhelpful influences and how they will affect implementation of the legislative changes

Intouch cannot escape the conclusion that issues of morality, political correctness and “following the line of least resistance” will lead to many workers being shoe-horned into deemed employment without getting the associated and deserved employment rights.

 

For them, and any other vulnerable workers, many will and should return to agency payroll or permanent positions, where take home pay is comparable and employment rights follow.

 

However, for the vast majority of independent knowledge workers in the public sector, the unhelpful influences remain as follows:

 

  • Agency fee payers or end hirers may just avoid risk and conclude (based on varying degrees of evidence gathering or not) that the arrangements are within IR35. They will apply tax at source, the end hirer will be happy, and a victim will be found to bear the employment taxes.
  • Agencies will want to avoid PSC risk and “encourage” their workers to return to Umbrellas. Umbrellas will continue to pay rebates, rewards and doughnuts for introductions made by agencies and the losers of margin will be the contractor.
  • Competition between agencies will intensify as they all seek a “Hail Mary” solution that enables them to offer something better to their workers than the offering of a competitor. This will prompt the emergence of new models.We are seeing a new breed of intermediary arise which can be “inserted” into the supply chain between the current fee payer (agency) and the worker’s PSC. This is one form of a new body built to absorb risk and not liked by HMRC. Parties are already referring to these entities as “redundant intermediaries”.
  • Also, we recommend extreme caution if tempted by other so-called “compliant” models. The stigma of failed EBTs and offshore arrangements all fall foul of rigorous anti-abuse and tax avoidance regulations.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Intouch Accounting wins Best Contractor Accountant (Small/Medium) in the ContractorUK Reader Awards 2016!

The ContractorUK Reader Awards 2016

Everyone at Intouch was very pleased to learn our clients had voted us Best Contractor Accountant (Small/Medium) in the ContractorUK Reader Awards 2016.

 

This award is unique in being voted for by the UK’s contracting community, so it is a real honour to win. This glowing endorsement from our clients reflects the level of service and support our Personal Accountants give their clients, and is only made possible with the support and hard work of everyone at Intouch.

 

Paul Gough, MD of Intouch Accounting, had this to say when he heard the news:

 

“The Intouch team are delighted to be recognised as Best Small/Medium Contractor Accountant in the ContractorUK Reader Awards 2016 by our clients. In recent years we have made it to the podium but not the top spot, so it’s fantastic news to see the hard work of our people being rewarded, and no one is happier than them to have finally made it to number one.

 

As the awards are voted for by the contracting community, it just goes to show the quality in depth and range in skills the Intouch team possess. It’s never easy keeping thousands of clients happy in a changing market-place, where people and processes are constantly in a state of change. However, our people work very hard all year to ensure our clients receive nothing but outstanding support and guidance at all times. It must also be said that without our client’s support we would not have won, and so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who voted. We will certainly be celebrating on 31 January when tax return season ends until next year!”

 

We couldn’t have done it without our fantastic clients

As the award is voted for by our clients themselves, we would like to say a massive THANK YOU to them for their support and the time they took to vote. 2016 was a challenging year for contractors at times, and we are glad to champion their cause and help them along the way.

 

We also owe our thanks to ContractorUK, as the success of these awards clearly shows how well regarded they are by the UK’s contracting community. This is no surprise given the wealth of insights they share on how to contract successfully, from breaking industry news and calculators to their infamous contractor forum.

 

Find out more about why our clients voted us best adviser in this category. We could be what you are looking for.

 

There’s a reason why our clients voted for us!

 

Intouch Accounting is a Chartered Accountancy firm regulated by ICAEW, a fully Accredited Member of FCSA, and a strategic partner of IPSE. Offering UK Personal Service Companies and their owners, comprehensive advice in all matters of finance and taxation. Intouch Accounting – making life richer.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

The rules surrounding tax and Christmas gifts

Tax and Christmas

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” or so the song goes, when people are busy thinking about what gifts to get each other and possibly what they’ll receive in return. But what are the rules surrounding gifts to employees or clients? Can you claim back the VAT and tax?

 

In this blog we explore how gifts can be given and how to avoid excessive tax for your company or the person who receives the gift.

 

Giving and receiving

There are two sides to tax when it comes to Christmas gifts; one is for the giver and the other is for the receiver. The giver is your company, so is your company able to claim a tax relief for the cost, or does your company have to pay any taxes because of its generosity?

 

Giving to yourself or other employees – direct tax deductions

Remember that even if you’re a one man band, as a director of your Limited Company you’re also an employee, and therefore can still gift yourself at this time of year. Also if your company employs other people, then provided they receive the gift and not you, then the same rules apply.

 

Limit to your generosity

It’s worth remembering that if you go a little too crazy with your company gifts you could end up with a big lump of coal in your stocking, in the form of a National Insurance and tax bill. The basic limit is £50, so if you buy a gift that costs more than £50 (including any delivery charges) it will count as a taxable perk for the employee that receives it. They will have to pay Income Tax and as the employer, you’ll have to pay class 1A NI at 13.8% of the full cost, plus the tax due if you pay that on their behalf. So for example if you were to give a £60 gift it will cost you a total of £85 because of the tax and NI due.

 

If you limit each employee’s gift to £50 per person, it will then cover them for the trivial benefits exemption for employees (which means you don’t have to worry about their or your tax or Class 1A NI).

 

Remember though that cash gifts are not covered by the exemption.

 

VAT

You are able to reclaim the VAT incurred on purchasing the gift if you are not using the Flat Rate Scheme. You may, however, have to account for VAT in the return period in which you purchased the gifts, as they are treated as a supply, if the gifts received by the recipient are more than £50 in a year. If a gift is exempt or zero rated (i.e. a book) you will not have to account for the VAT, unless you are on the Flat Rate Scheme.

 

Gifts for your clients – direct tax deductions

A tax deduction above is not eligible for business gifts for your clients, but there is a similar exception. As long as the client’s gift costs less than £50 and it is not part of a series of gifts to the same person in the same accounting period (which will then exceed the £50 limit), it is tax deductible. This other exemption, however, does not apply to tobacco, food or drink.

 

The rules surrounding VAT on gifts for clients is the same as that for gifts for employees. Therefore you must account for VAT if the gift, or gifts (if there’s a series) have a value that exceeds £50.

 

HMRC – the Grinch that stole Christmas!

To HMRC, Christmas gifts do not hold any special significance, therefore the same tax and VAT rules apply. So whilst it would be nice to think that a waiver on tax and VAT for Christmas gifts would be HMRC’s gift to us, we wouldn’t hold your breath!

 

Final thoughts

If you’re planning gifts for employees or clients, remember to follow the above rules to ensure you don’t receive unwanted attention from HMRC this coming New Year.

 

Ensure you speak to your Personal Accountant before you purchase any gifts, as they will be able to advise you on how much tax and VAT you’ll be paying.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Breaking news! Does today’s Autumn Statement harm or help Limited Company contractors?

Breaking news! Does today’s Autumn Statement harm or help Limited Company contractors?

Philip Hammond today delivered his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor of the Exchequer (and his last). He and the Prime Minister continue to compete for control of economic policy and are arm wrestling for the “glory sound bites”. Unless they get on the same page, the losers of this Pyrrhic victory will be you and I.

 

Famous for ill-conceived strategies implemented at a dangerous pace in the face of universal criticism, and ignoring calls for caution from industry experts (who HMRC asked for advice in the first place), HMRC and the Treasury just keep ploughing their own furrow regarding the flexible workforce.

 

Today’s statement offered public sector contractors no surprise good news, and worse no reason for private sector contractors to be optimistic. HMRC’s vision for a level playing field between employees and the UK’s flexible workforce continues to be deployed in the face of all arguments to the contrary. Mr Hammond continues to imply that anyone who is not taxed under PAYE is a tax dodger, and that any independent worker wanting to trade as a Limited Company is only doing so for the tax benefit. I wonder if this is a real belief or a view necessary to keep his job in a post-Brexit, post-Trump world of pragmatic politics.

 

HMRC are JAM (“Just about managing”)

“Passing the buck” is now officially written within the Autumn Statement. When policing employment status compliance gets too tough for HMRC and they end up in a JAM, they outsource the problem to the public sector supply chain (only affecting public sector contractors) and ignore advice from stakeholders telling them it will not work!

 

It’s such a pity that the Chancellor refuses to accept that the positive contribution from a vibrant flexible workforce is widely recognised by stakeholders as essential to the prosperity and economic recovery of UK plc, and therefore dangerous to ignore.

 

“Hammond and May never listen” ( I sound like Jeremy Clarkson)

Throughout the summer HMRC have “consulted” Industry experts, Accountants, Business leaders, Trade Associations and even the man on the “Clapham omnibus” searching for views and comment on key topics including: IR35 reform in the Public sector, and Making Tax Digital.

 

I wish that I could understand why HMRC are not listening. A significant proportion of stakeholder responses on both consultations are consistently negative about:

 

  • the unrealistic timetables being imposed
  • the lack of attention to detail in the implementation guidance
  • the absence of the digital tool for IR35 status assessment
  • the administrative burden being outsourced from HMRC to employers, service providers and taxpayers in an attempt to reduce HMRC’s cost of delivery
  • blanket self-justifications from HMRC of their own actions, which ignore the advice of the wider community and which do not stand up to intellectual scrutiny

 

There seems little evidence from today’s statement that smart people who work at HMRC are using their ears. A consultation process, which has merit in concept, becomes a waste of everyone’s time if consistent contributions from stakeholders across the UK are continually ignored.

 

“Hammond’s way”

So Mr Hammond let’s try it your way: Push on with the policy of forcing independent flexible workers in the public sector into a taxation straitjacket against their will, and against the will of the end hirers. Engagers (even public bodies) want control over the ease with which their business units can expand, they do not want to provide employment rights, and flexible workers are not asking for them. But to do that you will need to continue to vilify and call “tax dodgers” hardworking and proud independent workers, who are trying to put their family’s wellbeing ahead of their own.

 

Make sure that the public don’t work out that by passing the buck for determining Employment Status (because HMRC have failed to find a way to get it right) and by passing the costs of doing so on to the engager or supply chain, saves the Government plenty of cash (because I doubt you will ever find c£400m of “tax gap” that you’re looking for from contractors). Make sure also that the workers don’t blame you for the fact that their take home pay is being reduced, as the supply chain adjusts to protect its margins.

 

Proposals to remove abuse under existing flat rate VAT rules will follow in December and could affect the many innocent parties seeking fairness not abuse.

 

I am not saying that non-governmental stakeholders have exclusive access to crystal balls, but we do have ears and we use them more than you do. Your statement today affecting the contractor community is only as strong as your ability to get the implementation right. If I were to buy you and your colleagues at HMRC a Christmas present, it would be a large hearing aid. If you wanted to give independent contractors in the UK a Christmas present, just turn it on.

 

Want to know more?

Before the statement, we released our own set of predictions and wish lists on what we thought would happen and what we wanted to see announced. So were we correct? We will be sending out our full Autumn Statement review tomorrow, simply leave us your email address and we will ensure you are sent a copy.

 

cat catch the mouse

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

How to invest in another company tax efficiently

How to invest in another company tax efficiently

 

Picture the scene; you have a friend that has offered you shares in their own company. You want to invest, but is it more tax efficient to purchase them through your Limited Company, or personally?

 

Duncan Strike, Director of Intouch Accounting, explores below what it really means to invest in another company tax efficiently, and how to ensure you come out better off.

 

Tax: investing in a private company

When buying ordinary shares in a company you have two opportunities to make money:

 

1. As an income (in the form of dividends)

2. An increase in share value

 

Should you personally purchase the shares, dividend tax will apply on dividends and capital gains tax (CGT) on increased share values. The position of tax is different when you invest through your company; the dividends the company receives are normally exempt from Corporation Tax, and it pays corporation tax on any increases in the share value.

 

Tax on dividends

6 April 2016 saw many changes for individuals, but remained untouched for companies. With that in mind, the differences for individuals and companies are irrelevant should your company receive the dividends then pass them onto you.

 

Beware! Your company will not pay any tax on dividends but as soon as they are passed to you, you will have to pay tax on them in the normal way.

 

Remember: During the period where your company retains dividends but does not pass them onto you, it will not have to pay tax on those dividends. So effectively your company could store up your dividends, and then you only pay tax on them once you receive them.

 

Tax: capital growth

If you personally own the investment shares, you’ll only have to pay CGT on any growth in value at the point when you sell them. The position is traditionally the same if your company owns them (i.e. it will pay the CT owed on capital growth when it sells them).

 

However, bear in mind that different rates, reliefs and allowances apply, which can in turn make the tax bill for personal ownership completely different from that payable with company ownership. These include the CGT personal allowance, entrepreneurs’ relief and the new Investors’ Relief.

 

Beware! In respect of the increased value of shares, it is near impossible to be certain if personal or company ownership will result in the lowest tax bill, until all the circumstances are known and the entitlement to relief is established. But remember that by personally owning shares, it will avoid the double taxation which can apply with company owned investments.

 

For example: You use your company to buy 1,000 shares, costing £10,000, in your friend’s company. After five years your friend’s company’s shares are worth £50,000. Ignoring CGT reliefs your company pays CT at 18%, on the £40,000 gain (ie £7,200). When the net amount of £32,800 is paid to yourself, you will have to pay personal tax on it, even though your company has also already been taxed. This could result in an overall tax rate of up to almost 51%.

 

Income vs capital growth

Personal ownership is likely to result in a lower tax bill on capital growth, whereas the tax position for dividends favours company ownership. It’s worth considering whether your company or you personally should invest based on what type of return you can expect – capital growth or dividends.

 

Confused by investments?

You’re not alone! That’s why it’s always important to run your plans past your Personal Accountant to ensure you’re on the right track to achieving your Limited Company contracting aspirations.

 

Are you still hunting around for the perfect contractor accountant? Why not speak to our team of expert advisers today, who will run you through our monthly all inclusive service, that’s tailored to the needs of Limited Company contractors. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

The ten stages of CV rejection grief

CV rejection grief

Pitching for business is a big part of being a successful Limited Company contractor, after all it’s how you bag those clients and all important contracts. But here at Intouch we like to mix it up a little bit, and see the humour in what it’s really like to work for yourself.

 

So please, sit back, enjoy, and take our blog on the ten stages of CV rejection with a very big pinch of salt. After all, we’re sure everyone can all identify with at least one of these stages!

 

1. Denial

There’s no way your potential client would have said ‘no’ to hiring you. Maybe they’ve lost your CV, or maybe mistaken you for someone else?

 

You hold out in hope that they’ve made a terrible mistake, and are soon to rectify this unexplainable situation with an offer and extravagant apology…

 

2. Obsession

You refresh your email inbox so many times that you develop an email obsession.

 

With your Apple watch buzzing every five minutes and your phone flashing at you demanding your attention, it’s tough not to take a peek (even if it is spam).

 

3. Paranoia

You start to wonder if the client has been struck by lightning, kidnapped, or worse – lost their internet connection. You begin to worry about their wellbeing, even though you’ve never met them.

 

Trawling their personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts has become a daily occurrence, in the quest for signs of life.

 

4. Disbelief

Wait a minute! The client has just shared a hilarious cat video, clearly demonstrating both vital life signs and successful internet usage. In your overly excited euphoric state, you must resist the urge to like, share or comment on the post.

 

But before you hit that ‘post’ button, remember! Social stalking is creepy, so resist the urge…

 

5. Envy

A contracting colleague posts a recent project with accompanying glowing testimonial from said client you’re trying to impress. You instantly delete all forms of contact with your colleague and deny all knowledge of ever knowing them.

 

What about the unwritten code of contractor brother / sisterhood, how could they?

 

6. Anger

You see other contractors’ work which they’ve completed for said client, and know you could do a better job.

 

Anger takes over and you begin to question whether the client has undergone a recent lobotomy.

 

7. Contradiction….whatever

Actually, the client doesn’t deserve you or your skills, and by not getting back to you they’ve done you a massive favour.

 

You didn’t want to work for them anyways…..(silently scowls).

 

8. Bargaining

After much deliberation and soul searching, you realise that it might have been your fault.

 

You re-read the job specification and the response you gave, checking whether every word articulated your skills and professionalism as you had hoped.

 

Maybe it was your latest LinkedIn photo that put them off? One of your mates told you it was a great photo, but recent events have left you questioning your friendship…

 

9. Depression

That’s it, you’re never approaching another client for work ever again.

 

You start to google ‘professional cat trainer’ as that was your dream career as a child. There must be a demand for it somewhere…

 

10. Acceptance

You’ll never win every contract you apply for, and the sooner you realise this the sooner you can stop beating yourself up over it.

 

Maybe you’re too qualified, or not qualified enough, or maybe the client has moved the goalposts since you applied. Whatever the circumstances, you’ve chosen a career in contracting for a reason, so don’t ever let rejection stop you from doing what you do best – being the contracting superstar that you are!

 

Got a funny contracting emotion you’ve experienced? Share them with us! We’d love to read them.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

I QUIT! 5 signs you’re ready to leave permanent employment for a career in contracting

Leaving permanent employment

According to a recent study conducted by Perkbox, 6.5 million workers in the UK are unhappy with their current job within the permanent employment sector.

 

With long hours, the feeling of being micro-managed, and toxic work cultures as the main culprits for unhappiness, it’s no surprise that so many people are looking elsewhere for alternative employment.

 

But what if you’ve had enough of working within the permanent sector and like the sound of being your own boss? In this blog we highlight the five signs that you’re ready to leave permanent behind and take the leap into contracting. You might just find your perfect career and never look back….

 

You feel shortchanged

If at the end of every month you feel like your pay doesn’t reflect your skills, experience or the amount of hours you’ve put in, then it’s time to consider your options.

 

With many Limited Company contractors charging day rates that clients who are willing to pay for their skills, they are able to get paid a wage which truly reflects their professional value. This is usually much higher than what their counterpart would get in a permanent position. Take a look at some contractor job boards to get a feel for what your contracting double could be earning.

 

Your work / life balance is off kilter

Ever feel that because you’re working so hard, you end up missing out on life? Do you use your weekends to recharge your batteries for the following week at work, rather than work charging your batteries for life?

 

Contractors can choose when, who for and for how long they work, so they are able to design their professional life around their personal, rather than the other way round.

 

Permanent employment is affecting your health

Consider how healthy your job is, for both your body and mind. If you’re constantly left feeling drained from long hours, low pay, and general unhappiness, then it’s time to make some changes.

 

By being your own boss you’re able to design your own working lifestyle, one which fits around your own personal needs and wellbeing. For example, you can work from home and create your own working environment, or decide how many months out of the year you want to take out from contracting to focus on other areas of your life, such as travelling, looking after your family or pursuing a passion. The world’s your oyster!

 

Your hard work goes unnoticed

We’ve all been there – either a colleague steals your thunder, or your efforts go completely unnoticed after you’ve worked your socks off. Both scenarios are unacceptable and can give your sense of wellbeing a real blow.

 

As a Limited Company contractor your professional accomplishments are what wins you contracts, so there’s no danger of your efforts going unnoticed. Your calibre is measured on your skills, experience and passion for what you do, so if this sounds like you then it’s time to get the recognition you deserve.

 

You feel constrained by the inflexibility of 9 to 5

Ever get the feeling you’re starring in Groundhog Day? You have the same daily routine, which yields the same results each month, with the same people. Whilst it offers stability and a guaranteed wage with employee benefits, for you personally it’s not enough.

 

When contracting you can choose when and where you work, meaning that no two working days would ever have to be the same! Whilst you’ll have to go out and win contracts, liaise with potential clients and always be on the lookout for your next gig, the thrill of the chase could be exactly what you need to reignite the passion you once had for your career.

 

Happiness at work can help you achieve great things

Life is way too short to be unhappy at work, so if you think the world of contracting might be for you, then you owe it to yourself to explore its possibilities.

 

For more information on how to get started, take a look at our free ebrief, or explore our resources section for everything you need to help make your decision. Alternatively why not discuss your options with our team of expert advisers? Call them today on 01202 901 385.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.