What you need to know about the mining industry

If you are looking into finding a job in the mining industry, then there are a few things that you need to know before you decide to apply for a mining job. Here are some of the most important things you should know before searching for a mining job.

It might seem rather obvious that mining areas are normally in mining countries, but you also need to realize that these areas are normally located in very remote surroundings and the equipment needs regular check ups by the mining equipment maintenance adelaide contractors. If you do not stay in a mining country, you may have to relocate in order to get a job in this industry. You will more than likely be subjected to harsh weather conditions, which can include extreme cold and extreme heat. If you are going to be working underground, you need to know that you will be in confined spaces that are very dark – not a great place to be if you are claustrophobic.

ALT

The mining industry does not sleep! You will typically work twelve hour shifts for up to fourteen days in a row, which can be very difficult to handle, especially if you are working underground. In order to be able to deal with the long hours, you need to be physically and mentally fit. Living conditions on most mining sites are not that desirable, but it was you make of it at the end of the day.

Gone are the days of learning from the “old” mine workers. With technology changing on an almost daily basis, mine workers are now required to have qualifications, which include computer literacy. Mining companies are more likely to hire people who have just recently graduated from a technical school which teaches mining technology. These types of schools are normally located in the mining areas, which gives students the opportunity to get used to the environment that they will one day work in.

Working in the mining industry is more dangerous and unhealthy than other types of jobs. Before you decide to work in this industry, you need to know what the risks are. Working underground means that you are putting yourself at risk of getting silicosis or black lung disease from the coal and rock dust. It does not mean to say that you will definitely get ill, but it is a possibility when you work in this industry. Miners are also at a higher risk of contracting HIV, especially in African countries.

Working in the mines used to be a mans job, but things are starting to change now. There are many women who are employed in this industry these days. This is most evident in Canada and Australia. If you are a woman looking to find a job in the mining sector, then you need to understand that there is still a pay difference between the genders. Even though it is not right, it does still work that way in this industry.

There is a potential to make a very good living in this industry, but you need to understand that there are certain risks that go along with this type of job. With all that said, good luck on your journey into the mining industry!

IR35 Investigations: Understand the HMRC Triggers and How to Avoid Them

IR35 is one of the most feared parts of the Finance Act because it far more ambiguous than other parts of the law and therefore open to individual interpretation.

Any self-employed individual in theory could fall foul of IR35, but the workers most at risk are those operating a limited company.

Much has been written about the factors which could result in your contract being viewed as ‘disguised employment’ but what makes HMRC launch an investigation?

Here’s a guide to some of the factors which could leave you vulnerable to a closer look from the taxman.

Bad luck!

If HMRC decides to take a further look at your accounts and queries whether you fail the IR35 criteria, it may not be because there were any red flags with the information you submitted.

Some individuals are simply chosen at random, just like any other kind of audit. It is known that the taxman picks one out of every 1000 tax returns to look at more closely, a selection which has no scientific basis. You could simply therefore be one of the unlucky few HMRC chooses to review more closely!

If your number comes up, HMRC could – and often do – opt for a full review. Unlike an aspect review, it means you will be asked to provide copies of all of your information so the whole set of your accounts can be checked.

You could end up owing a lot more money on your tax return if HMRC decide IR35 rules apply to your situation

You could end up owing a lot more money on your tax return if HMRC decide IR35 rules apply to your situation

Risk-assessed selections

However, simply being on the wrong end of a lucky dip is not the only way in which you might find your business being scrutinised by HMRC for IR35 compliance.

The taxman has a number of criteria it uses in order to flag up cases which could be deemed to have a higher risk of being disguised employment rather than true contractor status.

HMRC keeps the exact nature of the flags it uses a closely guarded secret but in a statement to a trade body for contractors had this to say:

Any individual who provides his/her services through a service company to an end client potentially falls within IR35. HMRC seeks to narrow those cases subject to investigation by considering a range of factors, including, but not exclusively, sectors, engagement patterns and the nature of the service company.” 

Therefore, whilst it is not possible to say definitively every scenario which might cause HMRC concern, there are a few more obvious indicators a tax inspector may look for.

The primary concern under IR35 is that the individual is not really self-employed and has only set up the company to disguise the work he is doing on an employed basis, thus avoiding paying proper deductions under the PAYE system.

If an individual truly is in business, you can expect them to be active in promoting their business to attract customers, making investments to improve the company, perhaps having their own property (of whatever type) as well as having a company logo and headed paper.

On the flip side, an individual who is using IR35 to disguise the fact that he is doing the same work as when he was employed, will be making very little attempts to grow the business and will not be required to invest in purchasing his own equipment, materials or products.

With this in mind, one of the most significant red flags HMRC look for is the deductions on a set of accounts. A return with very low deductions could indicate that the individual is simply working for some-one else, on their premises, and using the company as a ‘vehicle of convenience’.

On the same subject, not having any other workers on the books can also be a sign that your company is simply a cover for your employment. Whilst it is entirely possible that you could be a contractor without assistance from any other workers, this could raise a flag to the taxman to look at you more closely.

Failing to appear professional in correspondence with HMRC can be another indicator that you aren’t used to acting as a business in your own right. For example, whilst not every small company may have headed paper, if you do get some, you immediately will appear better equipped to transact in the world of commerce and less likely to attract attention.

Finally, as a business you would normally need to have cover such as professional indemnity insurance in place. If you don’t have this, HMRC might seriously question whether you really are ultimately responsible for the work you are performing and invoke IR35.

Picking a professional-sounding name for your company and investing in letterheads could help your business appear more legitimate

Picking a professional-sounding name for your company and investing in letterheads could help your business appear more legitimate

Conclusion

Even if you operate a genuine company, no-one really wants the hassle of a full HMRC investigation, especially as the IR35 legislation can be rather contentious at the best of times. One way to help protect yourself is to get a good accountant to complete your tax return. This will ensure that your accounts are as professional as possible and that you have expert advice on how to ensure you are complying with the IR35 legislation.

 

Image credits: Images_of_money and Scott Roberts