Industry Specific Advice

Changes to Flat Rate VAT for Contractors and Freelancers

24 Nov 2016

Not only did the 2016 Autumn Statement rock the Estate Agent industry, it also announced changes to the flat rate VAT scheme which will affect some contractors and freelancers.

Flat Rate VAT Scheme

The Chancellor has concluded that the flat rate scheme is providing too much of an advantage to contractors and sole traders whose business is substantially labour based and has therefore announced a minimum rate to be applied to these businesses, who may currently have an agreed rate of 12% or 14.5%, of 16.5%.

For a business operating under the scheme with gross revenue of £100k per annum on 12% agreed rate will see their VAT bill increase by £4,500 per annum.

This move negates substantially all of the financial benefit of the Flat Rate Scheme for these businesses, albeit the administrative burden is still less than operating the standard VAT scheme.

Tax and the "one man bands"

This recent announcement follows the reduction of tax free dividends from £30,000 to just £5,000, leaving some questioning the Conservative Governments true stance on supporting entrepreneurship.

By cracking down on tax advantages less of Britains talent will be inclined to make the move to self-employment. While this may boost income tax paid it may also be to the detriment of some industries.

Accounting for contractors and freelancers

If you don't understand your VAT treatment or would like to know more about the Flat Rate Scheme and/or these changes then talk to us.

Why not also visit our service page for contractors and freelancers or our page about how accountants work, what the costs may be and how to choose.

Keir Wright-Whyte


Managing Director

0207 043 4000

About the author

Originally graduating with a degree in geography from Edinburgh University, Keir claims that he was then tricked into becoming an accountant by one of the UK's top 5 accountancy practices.The deception extended to the usual training in audit and associated activities.

Keir subsequently worked in a number of advisory roles with clients including in the energy trading, pharmaceuticals and financial services sectors.

He loves working at Accounts & Legal because of the variety of work and clients, the excellent team ethos and morale, the importance placed on genuinely helping and being useful for clients and because he believes what he does matters to clients and helps the firm.

Keir's primary role is to ensure that new clients with complex businesses or needs are on-boarded in the best way and he is a "trouble shooter" both for clients and where complex issues arise internally. He also helps the accounting teams strive to improve what we do for clients, whether processes or services.

When not debiting or crediting, Keir has a penchant for fixing old buildings, skiing, surfing and cycling.


We can help you grasp opportunities


If you’re looking for accountants who understand your specific business or sector and will take the time to get to know you and understand your business needs, we'd love to talk to you.


Call us today or get an instant quote for our services!