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Posts by Gareth Bushell

Your guide to contracting in Germany in 2020

Of all of the New Year resolutions you might be tempted to set yourself, our team here at Link Global Management can understand if your principal aim is to become an independent professional in Germany.

After all, this central and western European country is one of the continent’s leading destinations for contractors, as well as the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP. You can therefore expect plentiful opportunities here – especially in the tech and energy sectors that have been particular points of focus in recent years.

Putting aside the technicalities of contracting here, life in Germany also affords you the chance of a highly rewarding lifestyle, encompassing fine gastronomy across the country’s thriving food and drink scenes, as well as hiking around its no fewer than 16 jaw-dropping national parks.

What are the basic details you need to know when contemplating moving here?

Key to any contracting in Germany guide is an explanation of how you can relocate here in the first place. Those coming to the country from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland will need to have a work permit linked to their residence status in Germany.

If you choose to live in Germany for longer than three months, you will require a residence permit or ‘Aufenthaltserlaubnis’, of which two types now exist. You can apply for the permit type of relevance to you at your local immigration office, or ‘Ausländerbehörde’.

As for what you will require to qualify for this residence permit, this will differ depending on your status. However, you can at least expect to need to supply a valid passport, proof that you have a place to live, and proof of an ability to support yourself.

The length of your spell in Germany will affect your tax situation

Living in Germany for less than six months, or 183 days, will mean you are only required to pay tax on your income earned in Germany. In the event that you stay for longer than 183 days, however, you will need to pay German income tax on the income you earn worldwide.

However, any double tax treaty between Germany and the country you have come from may affect this, which is why you should familiarize yourself with the details of the situation before you make your move.

Discuss your New Year contracting plans with Link Global Management

While we could go into much more detail with our contracting in Germany guide, it is important to realize that every independent professional’s circumstances are different. You will therefore be able to best establish the right arrangements for you in your new country by first talking to informed experts like ours.

Simply enquire by email or phone to the Link Global Management team today, then, and you can start making the decisive steps towards ensuring your situation is a highly advantageous one when you do finally come to contract in Germany.

 

How is the ongoing Brexit uncertainty affecting demand for IT contractors in the UK?

The complex and uncertain picture that continues to prevail around the United Kingdom’s (UK) impending departure from the European Union (EU) was prolonged recently, with the news that the Brexit deadline – previously set for 31st October – had been pushed back again, to 31st January 2020.

It’s unsurprising, then, that this is continuing to have certain observable effects on the decisions of the UK’s recruitment agencies and contractors alike.

One demonstration of this was to be found in the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s (REC) Report on Jobs, which gave last month’s IT contractor demand a score of 50.2. This compared to the 51.2 score that was recorded for September, and with a 50.0+ score indicating monthly growth, suggests that contract IT skills demand only marginally grew during October.

What does such a trend in the figures tell us?

One thing these figures certainly signal is that back in September – when the October deadline was still looming large – there was greater demand for IT freelancers. This is perhaps attributable at least partly to the fact that such independent professionals can be more easily picked up and dropped as conditions require, unlike the situation with permanent staff.

However, after the Brexit uncertainty was reduced slightly due to the deadline being delayed to the end of January, the full-time IT market suddenly bounced back, posting more vacancies than any other sector.

The skills picture tells a similar story

Another indication of demand for IT contractors having become a little more subdued since the Brexit deadline was extended can be found in the lists of ‘scarce skills’ that IT staff end-users are actively seeking.

There were no fewer than 11 such skills being sought in permanent IT staff, the REC’s agents said – namely data, data science, CAD, development, digital, software, technical sales, technology, IT, analysis, and automation testing.

However, the equivalent rundown of hard-to-source skills for temporary IT personnel was just eight-strong, including data science, development, CAD, IT, technology, programming, software engineering and Python.

We’ll help you to ride the ups and downs of IT contractor demand

As the third UK general election in barely four and a half years gets underway and the various party leaders make their case to the country, it is difficult to predict precisely how the Brexit situation may be shaping up even in just a month’s time.

As a consequence, the UK contracting opportunities that come your way as an independent IT professional may be similarly difficult to foresee. Similarly, if you are a recruitment agency, you may find yourself needing to act swiftly in response to the latest developments.

Here at Link Global Management, we are proud to serve as indispensable partners for contractors and agencies alike, through the provision of services ranging from tax planning advice to outsourced global payroll solutions.

If, then, you feel the need to call upon any of our wide-ranging expertise, you are welcome to do so, simply by calling +44 (0)203 829 7221 or enquiring via email.

 

San Francisco ‘most lucrative’ part of the world in which to contract in 2019

If you are a contractor currently based in the UK but comparing international destinations for your next opportunity as an independent professional, where should you be looking?

That question has been given an answer by a recent analysis reported by the ContractorUK website. It found that San Francisco, California rankest highest in terms of the annual disposable income that contractors could enjoy, coming in at €99,920 once taxes, social security and living costs were taken care of.

Such a finding should not surprise many people given that San Francisco is, after all, a focal point for professionals from around the world who are attracted to the lucrative openings offered by Silicon Valley. However, there were also some slightly more striking discoveries in the final rundown of the cities that contractors should consider from a take-home pay perspective.

A poor showing for European nations

San Francisco was not the only US city to feature in the top 10, as New York City came in sixth, recording €70,168 in annual disposable income for its contractors.

The American cities both fared strongly in the analysis with regard to headline salary for their independent professionals – this figure being a stellar €299,000 for San Francisco contractors.

However, both San Francisco and New York suffer from high living costs – particularly with regard to housing – that might serve to make them less attractive overall destinations for British contractors eager to maximize how much cash they get to keep in their pocket.

Nonetheless, the two US cities in the final top 10 is still twice as much as the whole of Europe managed; the only representative of the Old Continent was Zurich in Switzerland. However, annual disposable income recorded for contractors here was only a shade behind San Francisco’s figure, at a very respectable €99,273.

What other eye-catching results did the analysis throw up?

Much of the rest of the top 10 was made up of Asian destinations such as Shanghai in China (€85,081), Mumbai in India (€73,812) and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (€71,370) – a reflection of the continued growth of these economies.

Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Singapore also all featured in the top 10, bringing contractors annual disposable incomes of €68,467, €61,084 and €55,889 respectively.

Rounding out the list was the Australian city of Sydney, where contractors can anticipate annual disposable income amounting to €42,335.

Wherever you’re contracting in 2020 and beyond, don’t hesitate to work with us

Whether or not you will be working in one of the aforementioned most lucrative destinations for independent professionals in the months or years ahead, you can count on Link Global Management to provide you with the highest standard of specialized assistance and guidance.

Our contractor accountants in Norway, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Turkey, the UAE, Australia and many other parts of the world are ready and available to answer your call. As a consequence, you will be able to get the very best out of your time as an overseas contractor, almost anywhere you happen to go.

 

Visiting Lapland isn’t the only alluring opportunity for those who contract in Finland

When many of us think of the Nordic nation of Finland, particularly at this time of year, we may be initially inclined to picture the Lapland region to the very north of the country. It is to here – the famous home of Santa Claus himself – that many tourists flock, captivated by the opportunity to revel in the magical Christmassy atmosphere the area presents.

But of course, if you are contemplating becoming a contractor in Finland, it is not only the chance to do a spot of sightseeing that you will wish to think about and prepare for.

So, what are some of the legal, tax and practical issues you must be mindful of if you do spend time here as an independent professional?

How easy is it to become a contractor in this intriguing Northern European country?

This will naturally largely depend on your status. If you are an EU/EEA national, you will not require an employee’s residence permit. But if you are from outside the EU or EEA, you will not be able to work in Finland unless you have either an employee’s residence permit or an ordinary resident’s permit.

It is generally the former of these two types of permit that you will require, with an opinion needing to be sought from the employment office prior to the Finnish Immigration Service’s final decision.

One factor that may well help you to become a contractor in Finland is the country’s significant skills shortage, with recent reports indicating that as many as two thirds of businesses here are facing “considerable to moderate” difficulties finding skilled workers.

What about the tax situation?

If you spend less than six months contracting in Finland, you will have a limited tax liability, only being taxed on income sourced in the country. In the event of your time here exceeding six months, however, you will be liable for tax on your worldwide income. On this basis, your income will be taxable from day one of your contract, regardless of your contract length.

We can help you to make the smoothest transition to Finnish life

It’s not difficult to understand why so many prospective overseas contractors seek out opportunities in Finland. As well as the many professional openings that the country presents – thanks to a burgeoning economy driven by innovation and cutting-edge technology – the country has a reputation as one of the happiest and safest in the world, while providing favorable conditions for workers.

This does not mean, however, that you won’t face certain challenges in your efforts to plan and adjust to a new life as a professional in Finland.

Here at Link Global Management, we can provide the advice and assistance that will enable you to achieve as hassle-free a transition as possible, so that your time and efforts can be focused squarely on the personal and business opportunities Finland gives you.

Simply call +44 (0)203 829 7221 today to learn more about the global contractor accounting solutions that we can provide for your benefit when you are looking to contract in Finland.

 

 

Contractor sector expresses disappointment at latest HMRC off-payroll guidance

If HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was hoping for its recent official IR35 briefing note on reform to the off-payroll working rules from April 2020 to reassure the UK’s contractors and those who assist them, it appears this was very far from the reality.

Indeed, the ContractorUK website said that all five industry advisers it contacted about the 900-word IR35 guidance – issued on 22nd October – “gave underwhelmed, cautious or just plain negative assessments.”

“There’s simply nothing new here”

HMRC has defended its looming reform to the rules by stating it “estimates that, outside of the public sector, only one in 10 people who should be paying tax under the current off-payroll working rules are doing so correctly.

“These reforms will ensure the right amount of tax is collected. This will level the playing field between those who were applying the rules and those who were not… contractors who are following the existing rules correctly will feel little impact.”

However, one of the observers quoted by the ContractorUK story that took a dim view of HMRC’s briefing note was a law firm that described it as “not as yet the substantive and detailed guidance that the recruitment industry and its clients want and need.”

Meanwhile, a somewhat less diplomatic provider of payroll and accountancy services said: “Bar one or two interesting statements, there’s simply nothing new here.”

IPSE condemns ‘cold comfort’ provided by the note

Deputy Director of Policy for the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), Andy Chamberlain, was no more approving of the briefing, which he dismissed as “cold comfort to the millions of self-employed who are worried about the looming disaster for the sector when the changes to IR35 come into force next April.”

He added, referring to HMRC’s claim that legitimately self-employed people ‘will feel little impact’ from the changes: “Tell this is the thousands of contractors working for Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and Tesco Bank who have already been told they must move into umbrella companies, go PAYE or cease contracting for these organizations altogether. There will likely be more such damaging decisions as April approaches.”

Chamberlain also voiced his discontent at HMRC “still stubbornly standing by the CEST tool, which is the source of so many IR35 woes. HMRC has lost the vast majority of IR35 tribunal cases since 2017 – based on CEST tool rulings.” His words contrasted with the department’s insistence that “the tool provides accurate results and HMRC will stand by the result produced by the tool provided the information input is accurate and the tool is used in accordance with our guidance.”

Allow the Link Global Management team to point you in the right direction

Are you a prospective or current contractor in the UK who would appreciate guidance on tax and payroll matters from knowledgeable and experienced professionals?

If so, you are welcome to enquire to the Link Global Management team today to receive the benefit of our informed and independent advice on contracting overseas, wherever your career may take you during the rest of 2019, 2020 and beyond.

 

What could Sajid Javid’s first Budget mean for contractors in the UK?

To say that the present situation of British-based independent professionals is one of great fluidity and uncertainty, would be quite the understatement.

While, at the time of typing, the United Kingdom and the European Union have arrived at a new Brexit deal ahead of a possibly decisive showdown in the British Parliament over the weekend, the looming days and weeks could also be highly telling ones for the future of contracting in the UK for years and even decades to come.

One recent point of focus among many in the UK contracting sector has been the announcement that on 6th November, Chancellor Sajid Javid will hold his first Budget since being appointed to his position by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July.

Brexit’s shadow may spell little hope for significant change

With the UK presently legally set to depart the EU on 31st October regardless of whether Mr Johnson’s deal is approved by MPs, Mr Javid has said that his upcoming Budget will be “the first… after leaving the EU” – notwithstanding some Parliamentarians’ efforts, under the Benn Act, to prevent any potential no-deal Brexit.

For independent workers and those who serve them, though, the cloud of uncertainty that persists around Brexit means the Budget may not be a significant one for any hoped-for changes.

One tax adviser quoted by the ContractorUK website, for example, suggested that any confirmation in the Budget of the Chancellor revoking the 2019 Loan Charge was unlikely, not least given that the Loan Charge Review will still be live as of 6th November, and Mr Javid won’t wish to upstage reviewer Sir Amyas Morse.

Another point of focus has been IR35 reform. The contractor sector’s enthusiasm for Mr Javid’s appointment in the summer was founded partly on his previously stated stance on what he once described for Conservative Home as “the silly IR35 tax on providers of personal services.”

The ContractorUK story quoted a contractor accountant as saying: “Business groups are starting – only just – to wake up to the work required just to continue to use contractors compliantly [due to private-sector IR35 reform in April 2020].

“But to be frank, I fear that HMRC have managed to convince Mr Javid that a policy he has previously been rightfully suspicious of – IR35 – doesn’t need any more of his time.”

Whatever Brexit brings, we can be your reliable partners

With trusted services including human resources outsourcing, tax advice and payroll solutions, Link Global Management has long taken great pride in serving as an informed and reliable ally of independent professionals and those that work with them.

This expertise and track record very much extends to the UK. So, don’t hesitate to enquire to our team today about how we can assist you in navigating all of the challenges that the ups and downs of the Brexit transition bring.

 

 

The ‘Rainbow Nation’ of South Africa lives up to its name for foreign contractors

If there is just one thing that you associate with the Republic of South Africa, it is likely to be a splendidly diverse natural beauty that far transcends what the visitor might expect to see while wildlife-spotting on safari.

Indeed, with the likes of jaw-dropping beaches, lush vineyards and bustling cities all on offer, a worker from overseas who spends any time in the ‘Rainbow Nation’ is sure to be left with warm memories to last a lifetime.

But of course, if you are assessing the merits of becoming an independent contractor in South Africa, it is the finer details of your employment, tax and payroll arrangements that will matter to you at least as much as a breathtaking savannah or seven.

Thankfully, our expert contractor accounting solutions here at Link Global Management can take much of the stress and hassle out of your transition to living and working in the African continent’s southernmost nation.

Both opportunities and challenges for prospective workers here

While there are many good reasons to partner with our international tax and payroll experts when you are interested in contracting in South Africa, one of the best is unquestionably the sometimes overwhelming regulatory landscape that will confront you in this part of the world.

This has come to be especially wise advice in recent times, when the South African government has moved to tighten immigration rules due to the country’s sheer popularity as a destination for expatriate workers.

All of this has made operating through an employment solutions provider like Link Global Management the only truly viable and cost-effective route for those who would seriously like to secure contracts here as independent professionals.

Nonetheless, with South Africa’s IT, telecommunications and energy sectors – among others – continuing to attract great numbers of workers from abroad, you’ll hardly be alone if you do decide to take up a work opportunity in this ever-captivating and varied country.

We’ll help to keep you abreast of tax and regulatory changes

From obtaining the appropriate work visa to ensuring you always remain on the right side of all other aspects of South African immigration law, there is a wide range of aspects of your working life in this part of the world that we will be able to advise you on and assist you with.

Enquire to the Link Global Management team now about our expert contractor accounting solutions, and you will be well-placed to get the best out of your personal and professional life throughout your South African contracting adventure.

 

 

For such a historic nation, Georgia remains remarkably undiscovered by foreign workers

One part of the world that you would have probably scarcely expected to become a contractor in as recently as the early 2000s is Georgia, which sits in the Caucasus region of Eurasia.

While, as of 2003, Georgia was what has been described as a “near-failed state”, the peaceful Rose Resolution changed matters drastically for this historically fascinating country, which has recently become renowned as a well-functioning market economy. Indeed, it is now consistently ranked by the World Bank as one of the easiest countries in which to do business.

But while democratic and economic reforms have largely defined Georgia’s recent past, the country also has a proud, albeit complicated, distant history, with increasing numbers of tourists attracted to its many thousands of historical and cultural monuments and other key sites, as well as its rich culinary scene. These are all perks that may await you as an independent professional in Georgia.

What kind of life can you expect while working here?

The Georgia of today has been noted as a relatively free and transparent country, especially compared to its immediate neighbors and even nearby European Union (EU) states. It should be no great surprise, then, that PEO and GEO firms are becoming ever-more active in the country to provide tax advice and payroll services to those who come here from overseas to work on a contract basis.

As a contractor in Georgia, you may be enticed by the opportunity to get up close and personal with heritage sites like Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, survey the spectacular natural scenery of this mountainous nation, or sample the sumptuous wines and culinary delights that are so many visitors’ enduring positive memory of this country.

Then, of course, there is the capital of Tbilisi, with its cobbled streets, surprisingly well-developed nightclub culture and warmly welcoming multicultural population. Everywhere one looks in Georgia, there are reasons to be intrigued and charmed – yet, so many independent professionals are not even aware of this country’s rewards for contractors and more casual visitors alike.

We’ll make your time in Georgia so much easier

With specialized and informed help and guidance able to be provided by our highly capable and experienced tax and payroll experts here at Link Global Management, you won’t need to look to any other PEO or GEO firms if you are contemplating working in Georgia any time soon.

Complete and submit our straightforward online form, send us an email or give us a call on +44 (0)20 3908 7997 to discuss in more detail your requirements as a prospective contractor in this key gateway between Asia and Europe.

 

 

 

 

You can enjoy great cultural and monetary rewards as a contractor in Qatar

Of all of the reasons why independent professionals from around the world may take an interest in Qatar as a place to contract, one of the most obvious is surely the Arab emirate’s lack of personal income taxes levied on employee earnings.

This means that while your headline salary as a contractor in this part of Western Asia may be similar to what you could expect to command elsewhere, your take-home pay may ultimately be much higher.

However, the benefits that you can expect from a contracting life in Qatar won’t necessarily be merely financial. This is, after all, a culturally and historically fascinating corner of the globe, combining a traditional Middle Eastern feel with a stunning modern skyline and all of the amenities that you would expect from a 21st-century Western country.

Both personal and professional opportunities await you here

As a leading provider of trusted tax advice and professional payroll solutions both in the Middle East and around the world, Link Global Management is dedicated to assisting contractors just like you in their efforts to achieve a smooth transition into their new life in Qatar.

Naturally, when you do make such a trouble-free transition, you will be well-placed for not just professional success, but also a rewarding personal life.

The latter could entail almost anything and everything from reveling in the country’s burgeoning arts and gastronomic scenes to watching the sun set over sand dunes and immersing yourself in the sophisticated stimulations of the capital city of Doha. Oh, and the typical desert climate – encompassing very hot and sunny summers alongside mild winters – may be more than welcome, too!

We’ll help you to cover all of the bases when relocating here

Naturally, as is the case with other parts of the world, there are certain conditions that you must fulfill if you are to become a contractor in Qatar as a foreign national.

These include having a valid employment contract sponsored by a company resident in Qatar, as well as only working for the specific firm that sponsored you. If your services are no longer needed by the sponsoring company, an arrangement must be made to transfer you to another Qatari company – otherwise, you will be required to leave the country.

Don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable and seasoned professionals

To receive help in navigating these and the other legal and cultural implications of contracting in Qatar, you are welcome to get in touch with the Link Global Management team today.

Call +44 (0)20 3908 7997 or email our experts, and we’ll be able to provide you with the legal guidance and professional payroll solutions that will enable you to focus squarely on your actual work as a contractor in Qatar – as well as, of course, the cultural charms and activities of this captivating nation.

 

As a bastion of Asian cultural diversity, nowhere betters Indonesia

Have you recently been alerted to opportunities to contract as an oil and gas worker, IT project manager, software developer, business analyst, tester or other independent professional in Indonesia? If so, you may be pleasantly surprised by what this proudly diverse island country between the Indian and Pacific oceans has to offer during your stay there.

More than simply a go-to holiday destination

As one might expect of a nation with Australia and the Philippines as its neighbors, Indonesia offers a consistently warm climate that has helped to make it a major draw for holidaymakers and contractors alike. However, this is far from the only factor that has long motivated those from far afield to investigate the country, which boasts a whopping 17,000 islands to explore.

After all, such other defining elements of Indonesian life as the country’s stunning natural scenery, ample opportunities for beach-going and scuba diving, and a colorful gastronomic scene encompassing a wealth of tempting and intriguing regional dishes, are of appeal to casual visitors and resident workers alike.

Then, there is the rich social and cultural diversity to consider, the large Muslim population being joined by many Christians, Catholics, Buddhists and Hindus. In short, you’ll always be learning something about the charms and complexities of other cultures when you live and work in Indonesia.

But are you prepared for the legal and tax aspects of contracting here?

The obstacles that may confront you as a prospective contractor in Indonesia are, in many ways, similar to those you might have encountered if you are already accustomed to working overseas as an independent professional. These include the need to have an employer sponsor in order to obtain the necessary work permit and work visa for your time spent contracting in this part of Southeast Asia.

Thankfully, when you partner with the right payroll processing company for your move to Indonesia, you can be sure of receiving the support that you require to thrive professionally in an unfamiliar culture, while avoiding the common tax and legal pitfalls.

You can be engaged on our payroll, in fact, so that any necessary tax and social security payments are deducted at source on a PAYE basis, and made to the relevant authorities on your behalf. You might even be forgiven for almost forgetting that you are working as a contractor in Indonesia, rather than as a conventional salaried employee.

Don’t wait any longer to get in touch with our experts

Is a contracting role in Indonesia the next big step that your career calls for? If so, don’t hesitate to give Link Global Management a call today, on +44 (0)20 3908 7997. In the process, you will receive the tailored advice and support that you need, and learn why we are such a trusted payroll processing company for independent professionals – across Asia, the West and beyond.

 

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