How Can A Change To The Nuclear Energy Sector Affect Me And My Contract Work?

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Published: 22nd February 2013
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Nuclear energy has been a part of the UK's energy output/input for more than 50 years, though many of us see this as being a relatively new addition to the UK energy mix. The 2008 'Nuclear White Paper' determined that Nuclear Power Stations and the Civil Contractors that work on them have a significant role to play alongside other low-carbon energy sources as part of the UK's future.

Nuclear plants provide about 5.7% of the world energy and 13% of the world's electricity, so not over taking the world of Oil and Gas by any means at present, but it certainly is presenting a smaller section of Engineering and other Energy career opportunities for contractors, just like the rest of the renewable market. A lot of these contract positions are popping up down in England, in places like Cheshire and Cumbria, with also opportunities on an international scale (the Arab Emirates for example). These roles boast significant day rates, just as their Oil and Gas counterparts do and offer an opportunity for the same transferrable skills developed in the Oil and Gas industry to be utilised for Nuclear Energy Contractors, a strong Engineering background often being noted as desirable.

Many of the Nuclear Contract positions available are specialist Engineering roles. Nuclear energy focuses on the fission and fusion of automatic nuclei, but if you are a contractor working in this sector you will know far more about this than us!

Our area of speciality is ensuring that you concentrate on what you do best, and that we concentrate on making sure you are trading as a Tax Efficient, Compliant, and time savvy Contractor we can help with all of these areas.

The tax efficiencies we can help with are through a clever mix of Salary and Dividends which you can take out of your Limited Company. It's important to look at some calculations right at the beginning of your Contract work, as this will determine what your day rate is, and how much money you can actually take home at the end of the day. It's also a good idea to make some assumptions in these calculations into how much money will need to be kept aside monthly to pay for the taxes that will need paid to HMRC on a regular basis, whether for Corporation Tax, VAT, PAYE or income tax on what you make personally. This might sound a bit daunting and confusing but that's what we experts are here for. We have years of experience of doing this type of tax planning for our clients, and we can share these expertise with you.

IR35 legislation is something you will need to keep at the forefront of your mind also, whether you are starting out as a Contractor in Nuclear power & energy, or if you have been working in this way for some time. HMRC want to ensure that you are operating as a truly self employed contractor, and not appearing similar to your full time staff counterparts who are on the payroll. If they find the opposite and feel that you acting like a 'disguised employee' an investigation into your trading may ensure. The cost of being caught as being non compliant in IR35 legislation is high, and makes it very worthwhile to be diligent and ensure that you are following the 12 Business Entity tests proposed by HMRC to ensure that you are Low Risk. You can follow the test here to confirm if this is the case, and what you can do to improve your score.

The Cost of an Accountancy solution for your Limited Company when you are trading as a Limited Company is very reflective on how hands on you want to be. Many full time contractors have enough on their plate working a contract, and trying to find time to see family and friends, so it's often not desirable to them to be shuffling around paperwork in the evenings and weekends when they can outsource this to an expert.

A good contractor specialist accountant will make you aware of everything that is expected of you as a Limited Company Director, and also relieve the majority of the administrative burden involved with this. They can take care of your invoicing, expense processing, your Book Keeping, and all of your Accountancy, tax, and VAT and PAYE requirements and will mostly do everything for you all you will have to provide is accurate up to date information, your timesheet, and perhaps your bank statements and then you can relax safe in the knowledge that everything else is being taken care of for you.

Mervin Stanley works for FW Accounting which provides accountants for contractors as well as financial administration and invoicing. The contractor accounting services offered by FW, particulary IR35 advice, which is supplied by specialist IR35 accountants is invaluable to limited company owners.

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