Contractor confidence hits record high

A new study suggests that confidence among UK contractors and freelancers has bounced back to a record high following a temporary period of gloominess.

With Brexit and recent changes to IR35, contractors have faced a number of challenges and uncertainties in recent years, yet the latest figures from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) reveal that freelancers are resilient and currently eyeing-up a bright future regardless of whatever further challenges might be ahead.

According to the data, contractor confidence has risen from a reading of just 5.3 last year to hit a very optimistic-looking 14.3.

Commentators have been keen to point out that, although ‘small-sounding’ in terms of numbers, this reading represents the highest confidence score among contractors and freelancers since the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015 and before the Brexit vote.

Suneeta Johal, IPSE’s Head of Research, said that “resilience and determination” in the face of uncertain times were “key factors” behind the impressive annual growth in contractor confidence.

“Against all odds, contractors now have the highest confidence outlook for their business level since before the EU referendum… [despite] the negative forces ranged against the self-employed right now.”

Commentators have said that the figures should not be taken lightly, as previous studies have suggested that freelancers are likely to see the ‘cost of contracting’ increase by around 13.7 per cent in coming months due to IR35 changes amongst other issues.

At times such as these, it is perhaps more important than ever for contractors to seek specialist tax planning advice to ensure they are financially fighting fit.