Our services for freelance contractors are designed for individuals working in the Computing/IT, Engineering, Design, Consulting, Medical, Social Work, Legal, Accounting and similar sectors using a Personal Service Company (PSC), or anyone with a company predominantly supplying their own skills and experience.
The primary aims of the service are:
- To keep your tax bills as low as law allows
- To minimise the time and effort you have to spend on accounting and administration
- To make running your company as easy and trouble free as possible
- To minimise the impact of the IR35 tax regime on your company
We do not offer Umbrella or Composite company arrangements.
We have over 30 years experience in the sector, pre dating IR35. We probably have a longer experience than any other UK accounting firm on IR35 matters, given we started advising clients within hours of the original 1998 press release.
This guide is part of a series. This is the index:
- Index to our PSC Guidance
- Whitefield PSC services
- PSC Basics – including set up and closure
- IR35 & Related Issues
- Tax and VAT for a PSC – including Corporation Tax, Income Tax, NI, PAYE and VAT
- Expenses for a PSC
- Accounting for a PSC – including bookkeeping, invoicing, receipts, dividend administration
- Practical Issues for a PSC – some of the questions and issues our clients raise reguarly
- Whitefield PSC Spreadsheet
- Comprehensive PSC Service
- Comprehensive Plus PSC Service
- Company Formation Service
- Joining Us
- Fair Use
- Leaving, Joining, Termination and Minimum Fee
- Out of Contract
- IR35 Contract Reviews
- Companies House Confirmation Statement
- Professional Fee Protection
- Comprehensive PSC service with complimentary use of our PSC Spreadsheet – basic fee £1,000 pa + vat, payable monthly at £100 including vat.
- Comprehensive PSC service with FreeAgent – basic fee £1,180 pa + vat, payable monthly at £118 including vat (Note: FreeAgent is not chargeable if you have a business account with any bank that is part of the RBS banking group)..
Our comprehensive PSC service covers:
- Annual pre year end tax review
- Preparation of annual accounts
- Preparation of the company’s corporation tax computations, iXBRL tagged accounts and CT600 return
- Calculation and administration of PAYE/NI scheme including RTI
- Assistance with the calculation and administration of quarterly VAT returns, where our spreadsheet template is used
- Preparation of director and spouse personal Self Assessment returns
- IR35 advice and assistance
- Dealing with all routine tax issues related to your business (other than HMRC full enquiries and IR35 status challenges)
- Companies House administration
- Registered office service
- Liaison with your pension/investment advisers
- References for loans, mortgages and tenancies
- Ad-hoc advice as necessary
- Pre booked phone discussions (email is our preferred method of communication, but on occasion a telephone chat can be more effective)
- We also have a comprehensive plus service available, £1,400 + vat, which includes processing and entering basic transactions for you.
- Services subject to Fair Use
The following services are charged separately, as used/requested :
- Filing of your Annual Return at Companies House £48 to include statutory filing fee (many clients deal with this themselves)
- Tax Enquiries and fighting IR35 status challenges (available at £150 per hour but we strongly recommend that you take out fee protection cover for this separately.
- IR35 Contract Reviews (£50 + vat informal review, £200 + vat formal review)
- Annual dividend vouchers and minutes £100 + vat (many clients deal with this themselves as necessary, but we offer the service for clients who request it)
- Major items of additional work – these will be charged by the hour, but you will be advised in advance before incurring charges.
- Day to day bookkeeping via your chosen accounting system
- Invoicing your client
- Submission of Vat returns (we offer a checking service)
- Decisions about IR35 compliance (due to become the engagers’ decision from April 2021)
Where you run a second company a discount of 30% will normally be offered for that company.
If there are two contractors sharing a company, normally we will make a surcharge of £20 per month + vat for each additional contractor working through one company, however a bespoke approach may be necessary.
- Comprehensive PSC service with FreeAgent – basic fee £1,580 pa + vat, payable monthly at £158 including vat.
- Comprehensive PSC service with your own choice of software, or our spread sheet template – basic fee £1,400 pa + vat, payable monthly at £140 including vat. You will need to meet your own software costs, unless we are able to use excel.
The comprehensive plus service covers all the above, plus the majority of your day to day bookkeeping and vat accounting..
We set up the information flows with you on a bespoke basis, so you may wish to post or scan us all your paperwork, or keep a basic summary yourself and sent that to us for entry to your accounts systems.
- £120 pus VAT (£144.00 inclusive of VAT) – direct payment or credit card. This includes the first months regular accounting services.
This fee covers:
- Registration of your company at Companies House
- Registering the company with HMRC for Corporation Tax
- Registration with HMRC as an employer
- Registration with HMRC for VAT (if relevant)
- Advice and guidance on getting started with your company
In terms of time scales on forming a company:
- Submission to Companies House – we normally do this same day or next day, and will let you have a company number as soon as we hear back from Companies House. Normally we have the company number within 24-48 hours.
- Completion of file opening – we have a number of formalities to complete, including identification and sending you a comprehensive welcome pack, and where requested dealing with vat registration etc – we tailor our advice bespoke to each client to make sure you are setting out on the right foot – allow a week for this, although its normally just a few days.
- Vat registration – this is outside of our hands, allow two weeks, although HMRC are normally quicker. We apply for this online for you.
- Bank accounts – bank account opening is never quick these days due to banks customer identification requirements and bureaucracy. We strongly advise clients to start with their existing bank as that should be the quickest route. The bank account must be in the company name, and can’t be processed until the company is registered at Companies House.
Our fixed fee packages are priced to cover the typical service level a client needs. In any given year some clients will need more support or service, others less, and our fees balance this.
However occasionally a clients service needs, or the complexity of their requirements, will go beyond that anticipated. Rather than have a long list of exceptions or small print, we operate on a fair use basis. Where services cannot be accommodated in the fixed fee:
- We will endeavour to let clients know at the start of the engagement, or if not as early as possible
- We will avoid unreasonable suspension or withdrawal of services at short notice
- We will avoid incurring any material additional charges for clients without authorisation
- We will work collaboratively with clients to resolve the issue, either by re-pricing, a service restriction, or by agreeing changes to record keeping and presentation
Under our Terms of Business, either party can cancel the contract between us with no notice.
We aim to make it as easy as possible for clients to join us, and for them to leave us, eg to close a company down or to move to another accountant. There are a few things we need you to know:
- The annual fee is split into monthly payments which act as a retainer for using our services, and you can cancel the agreement with us at any time, and without notice
- Once the agreement is cancelled we will not carry out any further work for you, including tasks in progress or outstanding, eg completion of a set of accounts where the year end has passed – so it will not always be possible to cancel the agreement immediately if you wish us to complete tasks in hand.
- No refund is given or price adjustment made for unused services.
- If payments are missed we will ask you to make a catch up.
- If we are closing a company down for you, you will need to continue paying the monthly fee until the company is ready for either strike off or liquidation. We promise not to prolong unnecessarily the preparatory work such as final accounts and tax returns.
We need to ensure a minimum revenue from each client engagement; so to keep things simple we operate a minimum fee:
- Where there are no arrears periods, that’s to say you join us with a new company that we’ve formed for you or you have formed yourself, the minimum fee is 6 months at the full level (i.e. normally £500 + vat based on our comprehensive service). If you cancel the agreement with us and less than six months fees have been paid, we will ask you to make up the difference.
- Where we have to catch up with a period of arrears of more than three months for the current financial year, then we do not charge any catch up fee for this period, but the minimum fee becomes 6 months at the full level plus a further month for each two months of the catch up period (eg if the catch up is 8 months, then the minimum is 6 + 1 = 7 months). If you cancel the agreement with us and less than this has been paid, we will ask you to make up the difference.
- Where we have to catch up for a previous financial year, we will provide you with a separate quotation for this work as a one off additional charge, and the normal six months minimum fee referred to above will apply for the current year.
If you are not actively generating income in your company for more than three months then we will normally agree to a 50% reduction in our fees from month 4 – we ask you to apply to us for this reduction as we may not have up to date information to apply the adjustment automatically. We will still provide the full contracted services at the reduced rate.
You must claim this reduction by contacting us at the time you place your company on hold – we cannot apply the reduction retrospectively.
If your company becomes dormant (using Companies Act definition of no significant accounting transactions) – we may be able to agree a further reduction in our fees depending on service level required.
Upon request we will review contracts and offer (i) an opinion as to their IR35 status and (ii) advice on ways that the IR35 status may be strengthened.
We don’t enter into contract negotiations with an agent or client on your behalf, or draft contract clauses.
Our opinions on IR35 status are offered as advice, and the responsibility for making a decision on the status of each contract rests with you (Note: this responsibiity passes to your client from April 2021).
Although we endeavour to complete them promptly, our contract reviews are not intended to act as a pre contract approval service. Contract reviews are specialist services, and in the event of staff holidays or sickness there may be a delay of up to four weeks in processing them; normally we will process them within a week.
We don’t routinely prepare our clients Companies House Confirmation Statement (formerly known as the Annual Return).
These are a annual confirmation of shareholders, directors and addresses to Companies House, with a statutory filing fee, currently £13. The return doesn’t cover accounts or tax matters.
Most clients are happy to do this return themselves, but if necessary we can prepare it for £40+vat (£48 including VAT) including the £13 filing fee.
Many contractors like the reassurance of Insurance against Professional Fees for IR35 and other tax matters.
We offer a Professional Fee Protection Scheme, which is optional but recommended