2019 is already well underway, and contractors throughout the United Kingdom are planning how this year is going to turn out for them. It is naturally a good idea for them to strategise their contracting career and ensure that it thrives throughout the rest of the year. There are several trends of contracting on the horizon this year.
Let us check out what 2019 has in store for contractors!
1. Tax Changes and Living Wage
There has been an increase in the tax-free allowance threshold and the National Living Wage according to the Autumn Budget. This means that all umbrella contractors who work on low hourly rates currently will enjoy an increased monthly income in the coming months. In addition to that, there will be a rise in the National Living Wage from £7.83 to £8.21 and in the personal allowance threshold (tax-free) from April 2019 to £12,500.
The UK was waiting (not so patiently) for a long time for March 29th when it was supposed to exit the EU. Although this has now been postponed to October-19, this change has had a substantial impact on all kinds of people and especially those that hail from the world of contracting. Although the details of the Brexit deal are still quite vague and uncertain, only speculations exist as to how this change will affect the contractors. Since the “freedom of movement” will be eliminated following this rule, it is likely to impact the EU contractors who travel to the UK and vice versa. That said, this event is not going to pose a huge problem until 31st December 2020 when the transition period comes to an end.
3. Preparation for IR35 Reforms
In 2018, an extension of the off-payroll IR35 reforms was requested from the government. In the Autumn Budget, it was officially announced that this change would begin starting 6 April 2020 for medium and large-sized businesses, the responsibility to determine IR35 status will move to the agency or the end client from the contractor. As per PWC report, as many as 95% of the businesses will be affected and now need to prepare for the IR35 reforms. Hence, contractors must start considering their options so that they are well-prepared when these reforms come into force. It will also help the contractors understand the whole process better and form their own opinions about the reforms.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence is one of the key factors that help in transforming a business with the help of digitalisation. In order to be on par with the competition in the market, every business needs to adapt to changes and development. Therefore, there is a rise in demand for experts who can help in building AI software. This is one skill that is needed in all kinds of industries. Therefore, a career in AI can bring many opportunities in the future. Moreover, as a contractor, it can be quite handy because you will not be short on independent projects related to AI.
5. Software Development
Software development has become very diverse in current times. It ranges from the development of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) to blockchain development to Artificial Intelligence. There is a lot that a software developer can do. Almost all big companies want to enhance their security system by adopting the blockchain technology. Also, AI has also become more of a necessity so that businesses can be automated. Similarly, PWA is also essential for a company. Hence, it is an excellent opportunity for contractors to focus on such software development-related skills in 2019 because there are high chances of getting great projects in this field.
6. Cyber and Cloud Security
Cyber security can easily be regarded as one of the most revered and high paying industries worldwide today. There is also a heightened demand for all kinds of IT specialists. This knowledge and skill could again come in quite handy for contractors as it would help them deliver more personalised services to their clients. In addition to that, highly qualified professionals in this field are also quite in demand which means you can earn more with this knowledge under your belt.
How Can Limelight Accountancy Assist You in Your Contracting Journey?
When it comes to setting up your payroll and accountancy, getting started as an independent contractor can be quite easy. In this context, Limelight Accountancy offers countless accounting services that complement all kinds of individual requirements quite well. Irrespective of whether you wish to use our immaculate umbrella company service or set up your very own limited company, we ensure that the entire process is quite easy for you. We also provide administrative support such as payroll and invoicing so that you can offer amazing services to all your clients. Therefore, our high standard of services essentially allows you to deliver a high standard of service to all your clients.
If you would like a free consultation, do not hesitate to get in touch with us!