The rapid growth of online platforms has made it easier for everyone with access to the internet to get what they are looking for. All the searcher needs is to type a search query and within seconds, they have access to tons of results that answer your query.
However, even digitalisation has many cons and a few of them concern the UK contracting industry as dodgy companies are leveraging the available technology to hide behind ponzi Umbrella schemes. While a search can give you the desired results, the ads served above/below these search results can be highly misleading, manipulative and fraudulent.
Contractors who are new or who aren’t really into the technology landscape, tend to fall in the trap of these fake Umbrella as they not only claim to be 100% compliant but also offer a honeytrap of ‘you get the highest take home pay.’ Moreover, the ongoing pandemic and the upcoming off-payroll reforms have further accelerated the activities of these fraudulent opportunist so called Umbrella companies.
However,if you know the signs, an umbrella payroll provider can benefit your contract work immensely. Even the HMRC is working towards putting a stop to these fraudsters as it recently issued the Spotlight 54 & Spotlight 55 to warn contractors of the fake Umbrella companies.
Here are a few things you should be avoiding when looking for for Umbrella payroll providers:
The first step you can take is to be up-to-date with the HMRC guidelines, since they have been proactively working towards misleading tax avoidance schemes. You may also find many scammers imitating as tax refund partners with HMRC who have been appointed as part of the government’s response to the COVID crisis. But this is not true and you shouldn’t be sharing any personal information with them.
Recognise the signs
If you see claims like:
“90% take-home pay”
“We are tax avoidance Associates and can help you save upto X% in taxes”,
then consider these as red flags of illegitimate operations, probably luring you into scams.
Words of wisdom-’Simply, stay away from any such advertisements.’
Check for business websites & Accreditations
Doesn’t something seem fishy when in today’s digital world, so called best Umbrellas don’t have a business website? Well, it surely isn’t a good sign if a business doesn’t have website and credibility to show. Again, don’t consider getting in business with such entities that can’t even host a simple website portal.
Take action & inform the authorities
What gives motivation to these fraudsters is when they continuously scam honest people and still go unnoticed because the concerned authorities are either afraid to go down that legal road or they simply don’t care. However, this needs to be changed and if contractors do come across such businesses they need to take strict actions as well as inform their connections.
In this digital age, to remain informed and keeping up with the latest industry trend can’t be overlooked. The same applies to the contracting industry as well.
Stay informed, stay ahead!
Also See: How To Find IT Contract Work?