What are you hiding?!?
By Rob Crossland, chief executive at Optionis Group, home of Parasol & ClearSky Contractor Accounting
I am angry. Ive just had one of those "Do you want to take home up to 90% of your earnings?" emails from one of the numerous "compliant" tax efficient solutions companies.
The email claims the usual stuff; safe, UK's premier solution, compliant and you can choose from up to 10 solutions!
Unsurprisingly the "website" is a form collection tool, hosted on GoDaddy and with no relevant company information, not one of the statutory conditions met.
There is of course a weak disclaimer, and it is clearly a lead farming tool. It's pretty simple to discover which media company is behind it, and therefore where that same organisation is based. Seemingly not in the UK, so no surprise there either.
A quick check on the contact phone number and a couple more of these lead farming sites appear. So we have no idea where the leads go to, we have none of the statutory UK information requirements met and yet it all purports to be a UK-based, compliant solution.
You would have to be mad / not bothered about the consequences to follow this path!
I am angry because it's now 2015, and our tax authorities still seem powerless to stop this abuse. At the same time, they want to scrutinise the ability of a genuine employee to claim for genuine expenses whilst working on a professional assignment.
I have written and spoken many times on this topic, and I welcome scrutiny to ensure that vulnerable workers are not exploited. It's just a tad annoying that, whilst we focus on creating truly compliant services, the cowboys continue to erode the good work that many do.
It's been like this since 2001, but I have always maintained that in the long run, being safe and steady WILL win the race.
Some people will gravitate towards extravagant claims, but I remain confident that for the good of the UK economy, the 21st century professional employment organisation will endure and thrive on ethical and transparent principles.