After a sustained period of speculation, George Osborne finally unveiled the contents of his red briefcase in the form of his annual budget speech last week.
Perhaps thankfully, nothing featured in the speech that was of direct relevance to the contracting profession. No changes to IR35, no changes to compliance, no real mention.
There are some changes that could inadvertently benefit contractors. For example, as the chancellor announced fuel duty is to be frozen, contractors who often commute – as this profession typically demands – are sure to reap some benefit.
The government’s help-to-buy scheme has been extended to the year 2020, which will serve as an advantage for those contractors yet to step onto the housing ladder.
Investors will now also be allowed to transfer stocks and shares ISA into cash ISA, meaning that contractors can feel at ease in the knowledge that any short term fluctuation in the markets will no longer be of an impact to their investments.
Perhaps acting as a more concentrated benefit to self-employed individuals, additional voluntary NICs can now be contributed to ultimately increase state pensions.
Finally, as expected, Osborne’s full budget 2014 documentation detailed the confirmation of the false self-employment legislation becoming law, as of 6th April this year.
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