Contractors who provide their services through intermediaries, such as their own limited companies, run the risk of unwittingly being caught by IR35 if they’re not careful. This can result in a substantial bill for extra tax from the taxman.

An essential task for any contractor is to avoid an IR35 investigation, below are a few steps you can take to avoid one, making sure IR35 will not apply to you.

Make sure your tax returns are completed correctly and on time, any errors and you could put yourself on HMRC’s radar and arouse inspector’s suspicions that you may be making further mistakes. Hiring an accountant to submit tax paperwork can significantly reduce your chance of being targeted for an investigation.

There’s no such thing as an IR35 proof contract, but paying for a contract review is essential when you get your contract, have it professionally reviewed by an expert who can identify any clauses that may be badly worded and could put you inside IR35 from the outset.

You should always operate under “Contract for services” arrangement, as a business to a business service provider through your limited company. If you are named within a contract it may compromise this business relationship and an overzealous HMRC inspector could interpret the working relationship as an employment contract of service.

Keep the client at arm’s length, avoid being on any organisation charts, having business cards, getting any benefits that are normally given to staff, don’t become part of the company furniture so try and avoid becoming part and parcel of the organization.

Hopefully, by following the above and adhering to the IR35 rules, you should avoid any costly bills from the taxman.

Tax Paperwork

Tax Paperwork

Key Management for Estate Agents

As an estate agent you are responsible for your client’s most important asset, their home. Keeping multiple sets of keys and having access for your staff can be a struggle. That’s where a property management key system is useful for your business as an estate agent. This will give organised access to all the property keys for you and your staff.

Only authorised personnel can access the key system to prevent duplicates being taken or the keys themselves from being taken.

Both mechanical and electronic systems are available to provide key management for estate agents. Mechanical systems use pegboards to check keys in and out of the key tracking system. Each authorised user is given a personalised access peg which is used to identify who has taken the keys from the tracking unit itself.

Electronic systems on the other hand are far more advanced as everything is tracked using unique passwords which are then submitted to logging software. RFID technology can be used to keep track of keys and items. Tags are used on the items which can then be tracked using RFID scanners situated throughout your business premises.

Electronic systems are unobtrusive and easy to use throughout the day. Everything is tracked into a log so any lost items can be identified straight away.

Estate agents often use other equipment such as laser measuring devices and damp testers. These can also be tracked using a management system like the key tracker.

Using these management systems gives confidence to your clients as it shows your business is organised and responsible with their assets.

Key Management for Estate Agents

Industrial Magnets

There are a variety of magnets that classify for industrial use. Industrial magnets are high strength magnets that have certain characteristics that make them ideal for applications in the industrial industry. Different applications require different types of industrial magnets.


Types of industrial magnets

Permanent overband magnets:

The overband separators are effective units for continuous removal of tramp ferrous material from a product stream. This specific type of magnetic separator is used to protect, clean and separate materials on applications in the recycling and quarrying industries.

Permanent suspension magnets:

Suspension magnets are specially designed for the extraction of occasional tramp iron from a product stream being conveyed by a conveyor belt or vibratory feeder. The magnet is suspended above a conveyor with sling chains setting the magnet face at the correct angle for optimum extraction. An electro suspension magnet can be repositioned away from the conveyor and de-energised for cleaning.

Drum magnets:

Drum magnets are constructed with a 180 degree stationary magnet system. Material is fed onto the drum cover at the leading point of the magnet section. Magnetic materials will adhere to the drum cover as it revolves and will then be discharged behind the normal trajectory.

Tube and grid magnets:

Tube and grid magnets are often used for the removal of fine and general tramp iron to protect a product from metal contamination. They are manufactured from ferrite or rare earth magnetic tubes, depending on a customer’s application requirements.

They are most commonly installed into hoppers, chutes and ducts, magnetic tubes and grids and are often used for applications in the food processing and ceramics industry.

 Plate magnets:

Plate magnets are an inexpensive form of magnetic protection against occasional tramp iron contamination. The plate magnets can be used in a wide range of industries and are commonly installed within a chute or over a conveyor. Plate magnets are constructed from a magnetic stainless steel casing, which utilises projected magnetic stainless steel poles for enhanced field intensity.

Magnetic plates can be manufactured with either a strontium ferrite, or a high-intensity neodymium iron boron (rare earth) magnet system. The more powerful rare earth solution is advised for removing much finer iron particles from powders and foodstuffs.