Late payment charge

Yes it’s non-vatable. And there’s no need to give any notice at all to impose a late payment charge. If they’ve paid late then they already owe it to you.

What you’re doing is offering to waive your right to the charge in return for them paying on whatever new terms you choose.

Posted under Courier Financial Issues, Late Payment

Posted by Alec at 3:06 pm, May 31, 2007

Haz-Chem advice needed

UN1202 is Gas oil, Heating oil or Diesel fuel.

Posted under Hazardous Goods - ADR

Posted by Alec at 1:00 pm, May 31, 2007

Flat Rate VAT or Cash Accounting

Both….maybe. There’s a cash-based version of the flat rate sceme – very simple to administer.

If you’re planning on subbing out a lot of work then the flat rate scheme may not be suitable if your suppliers are mainly VAT registered.

Posted under Courier Financial Issues, VAT

Posted by Alec at 4:34 pm, May 30, 2007

Working Time Directive/Road Transport Directive for subcontractors

Don’t worry about it, the new rules only apply to the self-employed if they driver vehicles that come uder the tacho regs.

Posted under Drivers' Hours, Employment

Posted by Alec at 9:35 pm, May 23, 2007

Subcontracting using big boys van?? allowed??

Don’t have a word with your accountant, have a word with a lawyer. Accountants just add up figures and most of the ‘advice’ they give is frankly bollocks.

It makes no difference whatsoever how many ‘customers’ you’ve got. You can be self-employed with just one customer or you can be an employee with several employers. You could even be regarded as an employee with regards one of your ‘contracts’ and self-employed with regards another one – even with the same company.

When it comes to NI and tax payments that the ’employer’ should have made then the ’employee’ has nothing to worry about. HMRC have always taken the stance that the employer is responsible for making the deductions at source and it’s the employer that’s held liable for any underpayments – or non-payments. It used to be the case that HMRC would offset the PAYE and employee’s NI liability against the self-employed tax & NI that had already been paid by the ‘self-employed’ person but that changed last month. In theory it should now be possible for a ‘self-employed’ employee to reclaim any income tax they paid in error while their employer should have been deducting PAYE and NI from their wages. (this has now changed again, see comment below)

A clued up owner-driver working for a clueless courier company could receive their earnings entirely tax free under certain circumstances.

The more clued up courier companies avoid this happening by the use of subcontractor contracts which give the subby the responsibility of providing their own relief driver. This is an absolute defence against HMRC employment status disputes.

Alternatively they ‘employ’ these drivers through an intermediary, less clued up, courier company. Cowboy Couriers send their ‘subbies’ into ‘Big Boy Express’ on a regular basis and when the shit hits the fan (whether over employment status, drivers hours, overloading or whatever corner-cutting is forced on Cowboy Couriers by Big Boy) then Big Boy can just walk away without liability and find another mug company to provide them with drivers.

Posted under Employment

Posted by Alec at 2:08 pm, May 16, 2007

Short cover insurance for a hire van

It should cost you £50 at the most to transfer your existing cover to a replacement vehicle on a temporary basis. Speak to your broker.

Posted under Insurance for Couriers, Vans

Posted by Alec at 8:35 am, May 10, 2007

Factoring for courier owner drivers?

I don’t think many would take you on with that sort of turnover Rich. There may be some smaller ones that would but it’s generally best to steer clear from any that aren’t run by substantial financial institutions.

Actually it’s best to stay clear of them all.

Posted under Courier Financial Issues

Posted by Alec at 6:13 pm, May 9, 2007

Insurance help – EU cover

Martin, your UK insurance automatically covers you up to the legal minimum requirements throughout the EU and in countries like Switzerland and Norway. You don’t need a Green Card to drive in these countries.

The Green Card is only proof that you have the minimum inurance cover required to drive in the countries that are members of the scheme. Having Green Card cover doesn’t make any difference to whether your comprehensive insurance cover will operate as if you were in the UK – you’d need to check your policy documents for that.

I seem to remember that the standard policy from covers you throughout Europe as if you were in the UK for no extra cost. I could be wrong though, or it might have changed.

Posted under Insurance for Couriers

Posted by Alec at 8:22 am, May 7, 2007