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You don't need to hold the new 714 to be self-employed

Sir,

I WAS interested to read Mr Stokal's letter in your edition of January 7, saying that, because he did not qualify for a new-style 714, he would not be able to be self-employed.

It is generally misunderstood throughout the industry that if a person does not qualify for a new-style 714 under the Gross Payment Certificate System, which takes effect in August 1999, he will automatically come under the PAYE scheme.

On the contrary - subcontractors who do not qualify for the new-style 714 should receive what is called a Registration Card, which will operate in exactly the same way that SC60s presently operate.

In other words, these people will still be self-employed, but will be paid after a 23 per cent deduction of tax.

Your readers may also be interested to note that my firm, Accountax of Milton Keynes, has started a club for contractors, subbies and accountants who wish to preserve self-employed status.

The aim of the club is to provide regular information on tax status matters and details of how to argue your case with the Inland Revenue or Contributions Agency.

Since launching our 'Fighting Fund Club' in October 1998 we have signed up more than 260 member firms, including many contractors and accountants.

It is often forgotten that there has been no change in the law regarding tax status. The Inland Revenue and Contributions Agency are quite happy to treat people as self-employed so long as their terms and conditions amount to genuine self-employment.

Accountax represents contractors all over the UK and also provides information on the new system, which will have a tremendous impact on the industry, even though in itself it has nothing whatsoever to do with tax status.

David Smith LLB

Accountax Consulting

Milton Keynes