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Back in 2001, we decided that our business would always be fully compliant with all government regulations. To this day we maintain a 100% compliant approach and are proud to do so.
In April 2000, a new piece of landmark tax legislation, introduced by HM Revenue & Customs, came into force. IR35, as it came to be known, affected the entire contracting community and Umbrella Companies were divided about which solutions to offer.
The majority of contractor management companies and accountancy firms encouraged contractors and freelancers to set up Personal Service Companies (PSC) or to become part of grouped company structures know as composite companies. Both of these solutions used dividend payments to reduce (and sometimes remove completely), the Directors tax liabilities.
Throughout this period of uncertainty Crystal’s owners anticipated that at some point HM Revenue & Customs were sure to take the view that these schemes were simply ‘disguised employment’, which would allow them to challenge the validity of the contractor and question whether they were actually in business on their own account.
The government has always perceived all UK contractors as being potential 'tax avoiders', due to the tax saving benefits they enjoy by operating as a Limited Company/Personal Service Company and composite style arrangements, whilst their true status was clearly that of a “deemed employee”.
Even to this day, some 10 years after IR35 was formally introduced, some less scrupulous providers still promote high returns and obscure methods of trading, without appearing to take account of the individual contractor’s requirements first. Anyone using these schemes runs the daily risk of investigation and the threat of having to pay back up to six years underpaid tax.
When you join Crystal, things couldn’t be more different! We ensure that every new contractor becomes an employee of Crystal through a fully audited and legitimate Employment Contract. All Tax and NI contributions are then calculated, processed and paid directly to HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf.
This simple, but crucial difference is what sets us apart from the more, shall we say “Fly by Night” providers. It’s also what ensures that neither Crystal nor its employees ever contravene IR35 regulations in any way whatsoever.
Following hard on the heels of the MSC legislation and the introduction of HM Revenue & Customs third party transfer of debt liability, a new trade body has recently been launched.
Crystal Umbrella's CEO Colin Howell is a Director of The Association of Employment Management Companies (AEMC), an organisation that was formed to provide a unified voice and a comprehensive set of standards for the umbrella industry.
Crystal Umbrella processes all income received by its contractors using the long established HMRC compliant standard, pay as you earn (PAYE) as a basis, so our compliancy is 100% guaranteed.
The members of AEMC play a vital role in providing flexible employment solutions to the industry and are a major contributor to the UK's competitiveness. The AEMC is determined to represent only those organisations that operate a legally compliant regime.
In order to ascertain a member's legal and compliancy status, all applications for membership to the AEMC will be required to undergo a three part test comprising of a full legal audit, compliance audit and financial certification by chartered or certified accountants.