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Survey reveals extent of HMRC penalties among contractors.

Statistics from 2,000 UK contractors suggest more than one third (37 per cent) have received a fine or penalty from HMRC. It also appears that more than half (55 per cent) of surveyed workers say they struggle to understand HMRC guidelines, leaving nearly 880,000 contractors at risk of a similar problem.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“The two main concerns contractors encounter is with HMRC submissions and generally understanding HMRC guidelines. In fact, nearly half (42 per cent) of contractors say their biggest concern about working for themselves is in understanding and adhering to HMRC guidelines.” 

The headline findings from the research were that:

  • 37 per cent of contractors have already received a fine/ penalty from the HMRC
  • 55 per cent of contractors have difficulty understanding HMRC guidelines
  • 42 per cent of contractors say their biggest concern is understanding tax and HMRC guidelines
  • 54 per cent of contractors don’t know or are unsure of what they can claim regarding expenses
  • 64 per cent of contractors say paperwork/ admin and understanding HMRC guidelines are their biggest concern

A spokesperson for the survey said:
“The survey also found that a huge 54 per cent of contractors don’t know or are unsure of what they can claim as an expense – this is a notoriously confusing area and should be a wakeup call to contractors.”

If you are unsure and need any help and advice on PAYE, CIS, RTI and Tax Credits, or you need to keep abreast of changes in legislation and how it could impinge upon your business, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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