Professional Contractors Group

Lambert Chapman LLP are IR35 Consultants in Essex offering IR35 advice and other tax advice to Professional Contractors in Essex.

PCG logoOn 3 May 2007 leading firm of Essex Chartered Accountants Lambert Chapman were accredited as Quality Accountants by the Professional Contractors Group (PCG). Accreditation is only given following attendance by some of our workforce at a technical training course following which they have to produce papers for marking by one of the Country’s leading experts on tax issues arising from the IR35 legislation. The Quality Accountants award allows those accredited individuals within a firm to provide services to those operating under a contract under the IR35 legislation. Lambert Chapman’s accredited individuals are Nine Ladies DancingChris Harman and Duncan Forsyth.

So who are the PCG?

The PCG was set up in 1989 to provide independent contractors and consultants with a representative voice in opposition to the original IR35 proposals. The objectives of PCG are to be the voice of freelancers, working with Government and Industry to protect and promote freelancing and freelancers, on a local, national and European level. The PCG website www.pcg.org.uk provides more background.

PCG engage the expertise of Accountax for their training and technical support and within professional circles David Smith LLB of Accountax is recognised as a leading expert who has been involved in a number of prominent tax cases. David is responsible for training firms wishing to apply for accreditation and marking papers put forward by them.

Why accredit Quality Accountants?

The PCG 2005 annual membership survey identified that what members most wanted was a scheme whereby the PCG would identify and promote accountants who had received additional training on contractor-specific tax and accounting issues and had a good understanding of how freelance businesses operate.

In response to this clear demand, they have launched an accredited accountant scheme, called PCG (QA), for "Quality Accountant".  The PCG (QA) scheme involves:

  • Strict entry criteria
  • Training on IR35/S660A
  • Customer service training to enable accountants to meet the needs of freelance consultants and contractors
  • Annual assessment, including feedback from PCG members

Benefits to PCG members:

  • The reassurance that PCG accredited accountants will have received relevant and up-to-date training in freelancer-specific issues
  • A published list of all accountants who passed the course satisfactorily and qualified
  • The ability to provide feedback on accredited accountants to PCG which will be taken into account when performing annual reviews

Benefits to accredited Accountants:

  • The opportunity to present credentials to PCG members through PCG (QA)
  • Up-to-date training from experts in tax and accounting matters that affect freelance contractors
  • The opportunity to demonstrate experience and knowledge in this marketplace, providing clients with quality advice in an area that can be costly if the wrong tax treatment is adopted.

Main Services Delivered

It is anticipated that by 2010, 40% of the UK workforce will be freelance. With this there will be an increasing demand for specialised accountants trained within freelance issues such as IR35, contract reviews, S660A and PAYE. Lambert Chapman sought to join those who are able to offer the best advice to this market place sooner rather than later and are one of only two practices in Essex currently able to operate under the Quality Accountant’s banner. Our services in this area can be summarised as follows:

  • Status Issues

    Is Fred really self employed or does his contractual arrangements really make him an employee of the organisation to whom he provides his services? This is an area of tax law that often comes to light at the time of an HM Revenue & Customs (HMR&C) PAYE review and can prove costly to the taxpaying parties if the wrong arrangements are in place.

    With the new Construction Industry Scheme requiring a monthly declaration being signed and submitted to HMR&C more visits are forecast and more fines issued if errors are discovered.

  • IR35

    IR35 was introduced in 1999 to prevent those operating through a Limited Company and often via an agency drawing large dividends and a low salary when without the intermediary their status would have required them to be an employee of the end user to whom the services are provided.

    Many contractors believe that their contract is “IR35 proof” and continue to draw the dividends. But are they correct in this assumption and may a substantial tax bill be waiting for them around the corner? There are also those contractors who signed up to IR35 but now may be with a different agency under a different agreement and so may have the flexibility to remove themselves from the scheme.

    The opportunity of taking specialist advice to determine whether IR35 is applicable to you as a Contractor may well represent money well spent in identifying risks or opportunities in this most difficult of areas.

Contracting ServicesPlease contact Chris or Duncan by email or telephone on 01376 326266 if you require advice in these most important areas. Alternatively if you would like them to contact you please send them an email using the link below: