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CIS article unfair to composite firms


Sir, As a tax consultant, having read your article 'Revenue plugs CIS loophole' (News, July 6) I am compelled to comment.

The article, which one can only describe as scaremongering, is based on inaccuracies and speculations. Composite companies have been around for years.

If set up and run correctly they benefit the industry. Unfortunately, those that get it wrong receive more press than those that get it right.

Simply because one composite provider has had its gross payment certificate revoked does not mean all CIS composite providers will.

Just because there are composite providers out there getting it wrong, why must all composite providers be tarred with the same brush?

In the article, Alan Ritchie, Ucatt general secretary, was quoted as saying: 'It is just bogus self-employment in another form . . .', and, 'It's all about making a quick buck and they hamper the companies that are doing things properly by directly employing people.'

Ucatt has done all it can to put subcontractors 'cardsin'. I would have thought Mr Ritchie would back a scheme that gives workers holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay and associated employment rights.

Surely this is what Ucatt has been striving for? Mr Ritchie should examine composite companies in detail before making unfounded accusations.

The article gives the impression that all composite providers and the people who use them are tax-dodgers.

There are providers that do not follow the legislation, but plenty do. If composite company schemes are 'knocked on the head', workers will not then become directly employed by contracting companies - as stated in the article. They will go back to self-employment.

Your calculations, while giving an overview of how payment is calculated, are too simplistic.

I have had phone calls from composite providers questioning whether they have calculated their payments correctly because of this article.

Composite companies do work if run correctly. Your article was one-sided.

David Harmer Senior tax consultant Accountax Consulting Milton Keynes