umbrella Paranoia umbrella Paranoia
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default umbrella Paranoia

    I have worked for a temp for 2 years taking some time out to deal with a family emergency/situation.When I returned to work via the same agency I was asked to choose one of three umbrellas due to concerns about the rating of the one I had previously used. Fortunately I realised when the umbrella offer appeared to be to good to be true it probably was therefore I'm not facing homelessness or bankruptcy and I don't have suicide ideation.

    However I'm now reeling about a P800 I recently received for underpaid tax after being forced to change the provider. Does anyone know what method agencies use to assess the rating of umbrellas, what influences the decision making?

    This question has led me to do a bit a research which some may be interested in (apart from the chat bots, does anyone know how many chat bots are in use on this forum?). Know I'm wondering about how many actual people could respond to me. Anyway.....

    My quest for knowledge led me to the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) which undertakes audits for the purpose of assessing the membership eligibility of umbrellas. These audits are sent to HMRC for the stated purpose of ‘absolute transparency’.

    However in relation to business functions when the proposed transparent functions are not available for consideration in the public realm or to stakeholders and end-users i.e. selective transparency does this render the term meaningless?

    Also a stage in the FCSA audit process involves companies providing an anonymised list of workers and picking a sample for review by auditors. Therefore I wonder what weight is given by interested parties to the reports/opinions of assurance by auditors given this sample selection method. I can’t see that this methodology for sample selection is endorsed as an option in any audit quality assurance tool. Does anyone have experience of audit to comment on these things?

    I have had some fun though looking at umbrella accounts at Companies House and noting those with a payroll under 3 million, having no connection to other companies but still deducting the apprenticeship levy from PAYE.
    I also found a tool on the web which you can use to compare company websites at different points in time. It’s been amusing noting the current use of terms compliant, moral and ethical on current site compared to the ‘tax planning’ and’ tax efficient’ on the same company websites of the past.

    The above might be useful tools for any legal collective action. However given the general culture of the forum I’m reaching out to get opinions about my paranoia which might equally help others make decisions or be a fun way to pass time for 10 minutes or so.

    I have found some other bits & pieces, ways and means to generate and examine some interesting umbrella data.
    Sorry for rambling but I’m sick of it. The situation needs equalising e.g. after seeing the Directors pay and bonuses, payments of which have literally taken the food out of some people's mouths. I didn't know it was possible to witness such greed and utter contempt for the people that actually generate the profit, I am sickened by it all. I honestly feel like taking it back to the playground. I’m an honest hard working and usually sensible woman but if these umbrella entities were actual human beings I would be minded to violence and be offering them out at 3 ‘o’ clock at the back of the garages for the word “fight, fight, fight, fight, fight” to be ringing in my ears as the whole school ran on masse to into the best possession to view the ‘fight, fight, fight, fight”



    Swear up these lot are getting blown out the water, 12 months max.

  2. #2

    Some things in Moderation

    cojak's Avatar
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    Not a chat bot here, and FYI few, if any of us, have faith in the FCSA or those Passport accreditation thingies.

    It's known that the FCSA has dodgy umbrellas on its books.
    "I can put any old tat in my sig, put quotes around it and attribute to someone of whom I've heard, to make it sound true."
    - Voltaire/Benjamin Franklin/Anne Frank...

  3. #3

    bored now

    eek's Avatar
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    And the Professional Passport ones don't even pretend to hide their none compliance on their own websites anymore (Chester if you are reading this, that's why I'm refusing to even talk to you - and no I won't name names as that's doing your job for you).

    Agencies use FCSA and professional passport as they are lazy, and FCSA claim that membership solves all problems agencies have.

    And it did until Section 61O of the 2020 Finance Act arrived where the tax liability does belong to the agency / end client and separately someone worked out how to offer real time non-anonymous compliance checks rather than year old carefully select anonymous ones.

    BTW that person is me and all should be revealed sometime in December ready for a January Launch and full go live in late February.
    Last edited by eek; 26th November 2020 at 08:34.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  4. #4

    Still gathering requirements...


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    They're all a shambles.

    Perfect example - the FCSA say a pre-requisite of application is a minimum of 2 years trading; yet there's an umbrella on there that's accredited yet only incorporated last year.

    I know a few smaller umbrellas have tried to gain accreditation, yet have been told no due to the above - seems like another case of who you know, and not what you know.

  5. #5

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Quote Originally Posted by cojak View Post
    It's known that the FCSA has dodgy umbrellas on its books.
    Which FCSA accredited umbrellas are known to be dodgy? This could be valuable information for those that are told they must chose one from their list.

  6. #6

    bored now

    eek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
    Which FCSA accredited umbrellas are known to be dodgy? This could be valuable information for those that are told they must chose one from their list.
    That's something I keep for sales conversations - it's not something I would reveal in public.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  7. #7

    Still gathering requirements...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
    Which FCSA accredited umbrellas are known to be dodgy? This could be valuable information for those that are told they must chose one from their list.
    The year old one I'm referencing is Umbrellaphant. Definitely not saying they're dodgy, but it does make you wonder how a year old traditional only umbrella, can afford an £18+K accreditation fee. But thats none of my business.

  8. #8

    Double Godlike!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanbanthankyoumam View Post
    The year old one I'm referencing is Umbrellaphant. Definitely not saying they're dodgy, but it does make you wonder how a year old traditional only umbrella, can afford an £18+K accreditation fee. But that's none of my business.
    Interesting read at companies House. Assets of £1700, including income and trade debtors of around £35k, set up as a typical one man band company in 2019... And the website claims they are "fully IR35 compliant" - getting really bored reading that one.

    But I utterly fail to see how they have FCSA accreditation.
    Blog? What blog...?

  9. #9

    bored now

    eek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malvolio View Post
    Interesting read at companies House. Assets of £1700, including income and trade debtors of around £35k, set up as a typical one man band company in 2019... And the website claims they are "fully IR35 compliant" - getting really bored reading that one.

    But I utterly fail to see how they have FCSA accreditation.
    Umbrellaphant • FCSA Accredited Member says they have it - it's almost as if they have one set of rules for their mates and another set for people the management have taken a dislike to.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  10. #10

    My post count is Majestic

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    (apart from the chat bots, does anyone know how many chat bots are in use on this forum?).
    What kind of question is that?
    Last edited by northernladuk; 26th November 2020 at 11:10.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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