HGV Agency driving is changing. In response to this, we are adapting our current DriverPlus product to take into account the changes which will affect HGV Drivers from 6 April 2016. The changes are required to protect the users of DriverPlus from the anticipated attack from HMRC under the IR35 rules on all PSC’s (not just HGV drivers, but all contractors in particular those who deliberately avoid taxes by using a PSC ,- such as media and sports personalities and IT contractors both these groups are thought to be the most at risk.)
Is this all hot air or is the risk a real danger to thousands of HGV drivers. Well our view is that some drivers who are using non-compliant limited companies i.e.those who don’t operate a limited company bank account and a PAYE scheme are likely to be higher on the radar than those who do things correctly. Certainly, the brown envelopes will soon fall at the doors of those who use umbrella companies.
At DriverPlus we take our driver compliance very seriously and would have no qualms in declining our appointment as accountants, those drivers who consistently flout the IR35 rules. Our view is that being IR35 compliant is an essential requirement of being a client of our firm.
If you already have a limited company, it is highly recommended that you speak to us and undergo a free, compliance check up. You might think you’re doing things correctly but our recent survey of non-DriverPlus HGV drivers demonstrated a significant amount of non-compliance. The top three reasons were as follows:
1. Not having a limited company PAYE scheme;
2. Not using a limited company bank account (receiving monies direct from the agencies into your personal bank account); and
3. Using poorly drafted contracts i.e. A lack of substitutability between the Driver and the Agency.
There are small changes in the Driver’s work routines which will greatly reduce the risk of an IR35 attack.
We suggest the following:
- Occassionally moving agencies i.e. we recommend that no assignment should be longer than 26 weeks in any one stint;
- Publicise the fact that you’re a freelance driver i.e. By setting up a simple Facebook page promoting your services to the agencies (who all use Facebook for recruitment purpose).
- Taking a serious look at the substitution clauses of your contract with the your agency. If it is permissible you can bury the threat of IR35 by swapping a couple of days with another driver at another agency (provided that you know the driver!).
- It goes without saying that your company should be 100% compliant.
All drivers who use the DriverPlus product are all 100% compliant and therefore the risk is very significantly reduced. Speak to us on 01204 573555 if you’re unsure about the future of agency driving.