Contractor Frequently Asked Questions

When you work for yourself, advice isn’t always easy to find. But luckily, we’re here to help. With over two decades of experience helping contractors, we’re well-equipped to answer any of your questions. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common questions we’re asked by contractors.

1. Does SJD offer pensions advice?

Saving for the future is important, but due to the nature of contracting, it’s unlikely that any two contractors’ needs will be the same when it comes to their pensions plan. When you work through your own limited company, there are a few options available to you: you can make personal pensions contributions or pay into a fund through your limited company. You can find out more about the different options available to you in our guide to contractor pensions. Though we can offer advice about the tax implications of paying or receiving a pension, we cannot offer advice about which pensions to go for or where to invest your pension funds. 

2. Where can I find the tax return on the website?

When a tax return is completed, this will usually be returned via email or uploaded to the online portal.

3. Can I just do a set of annual accounts instead of having to be a client?

We would not recommend this. The main advantage of having a contractor accountant is the time it takes you to complete annual returns, monthly payroll submissions and quarterly VAT returns is significantly reduced. When you entrust your accounts to a specialist, this also means that they have experience and qualifications in accountancy so can ensure your accounts are accurate and submitted correctly to Companies House.

4. Can I have a face to face meeting first before signing up?

Yes, if you would prefer to meet an accountant face-to-face before joining us, you can do so in one of our regional offices.

5. Where can I send a reference request to?

You can send references to your personal accountant or by emailing us directly.

6. How will Making Tax Digital impact me?

Under the new Making Tax Digital rules, companies are required to file and submit returns digitally. As of April 2019, VAT returns will need to be submitted online, using an HMRC-approved software package if your annual turnover exceeds £85,000. If you already have an accountant, nothing much is likely to change as they will take care of this transition for you. Read our comprehensive guide to Making Tax Digital to find out how you could be impacted.

7. Will I be able to take money from the business every month?

Yes, we usually advise that the most tax-efficient way of operating is to pay yourself a combination of dividends and salary, which can be withdrawn each month if necessary. You can find more about taking money out of your limited company here.

8. How do I calculate student loans as a contractor?

For contractors who are required to make student loan repayments, we will calculate these deductions when completing your Self-Assessment Tax Return. This is paid across with your tax liability to HMRC.

9. What should I do if my work is sporadic?

If you need to stop trading for a period of time, we can accommodate this. Our dormant monthly service is designed for periods of non-trade and you can move between dormant and trading packages as required.

10. Expenses – what can and can’t be claimed

Any cost which is used ‘wholly and exclusively’ for your business can, in theory, be claimed back as an allowable expense. This includes any business mileage, the cost of using your home office and any tools or equipment required for your work. The full rules alongside a rundown of what can and can’t be claimed can be found in our guide to expenses.

Did we miss anything?

If you have a question about contracting that we haven’t covered, get in touch with our expert team and we’ll be happy to help.

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about how contracting works, forming a limited company or just want to have a chat about tax or going limited, simply request a callback at a time that’s convenient to you.


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