The impact Brexit will have on freelancers
As the Brexit machine continues to grind away, UK freelancers remain poised to discover exactly what will happen to them. Despite reams of guidance advising self-employed workers to prepare for the potential impact of Brexit, uncertainty is rife in the freelance community.
Here, Pandle highlight the impact Brexit will have on freelancers.
Finding Brexit advice for freelancers
Understanding the extent of the impact Brexit will have on freelancers is difficult until a deal is fully agreed. At best, some of the Brexit advice we’ve seen deals in likelihoods, and at worst in pure speculation. It makes it difficult for freelancers to find reliable information which will help them prepare for Brexit.
One of the best sources of information for freelancers worried about the impact of Brexit is the GOV.UK site. You’ll be asked to confirm the industry you work in, along with questions about clients and general operations. Submit your answers and you’ll be directed to Brexit guidance tailored to your freelance business. Brace yourself, though. When we did it, there were 22 separate guidance papers, and many of those had additional sub-sections.
The impact of Brexit on freelance tax bills
Freelancers will continue to pay income tax to HMRC, so in that respect, nothing changes as a result of Brexit. VAT is more complicated (no surprises there!). The UK government have promised to keep VAT charges within the UK stable, whether or not there is a Brexit deal.
VAT is charged based on the ‘place of supply’ rule. Wherever the customer lives, is where the VAT is charged. For a UK freelancer providing services or goods to an EU customer, there could be a change to VAT post-Brexit. It’s certainly something to keep an eye on.
Visiting the EU for freelance work after Brexit
If your freelance work takes you on trips into the EU, there are a few things which you’ll need to check before you book.
Should the UK leave without a deal, the entry requirements into the EU will change. This means that passports should have at least six months left before their expiry date. The passport must also be less than 10 years old. Fail to satisfy one of these conditions, and you risk being turned away at the border. We strongly recommend that you check your passport before making travel arrangements!
Make sure your professional credibility is recognised after Brexit
Professions which require membership of a professional body might also demand additional action. It’s been suggested that membership with a UK body might no longer be recognised in the EU, and vice versa.
This could see UK nationals having to register with the equivalent governing body of the EU country where they do business. Likewise, if your credibility comes from an EU source, double-check that it still permits you to practice within the UK.
The changes could affect the documents you need to present at the border in order to enter an EU country if you’re travelling for business.
The best actions for freelancers bracing themselves for the aftermath of Brexit is to prepare as much as possible for every scenario. This could mean reviewing the way you operate or market your freelance business.