ICS Umbrella FAQs
Please find below our most frequently asked questions. The links below will take you to the section specific to your question. If there are any further questions would like to ask, talk to us online, call on 0800 195 3750, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is an Umbrella Company?
Umbrella Companies engage employees via an umbrella contract of employment. This is an overarching contract providing continuous employment to an employee, regardless of whether they are working on an assignment with a client or not.
Our umbrella company, ICS Umbrella provides a complete and professional employment service for contractors. Our dedicated team of experts will process your timesheets and expenses*, invoice the client or agency and chase late payments, processing and transferring the payment to your personal account the same day.
Committed to providing a personal service, you will have direct access to your Account Team should you require help or advice. Inclusive to the service are comprehensive Professional Indemnity, as well as Public and Employers Liability Insurances. If required, we can also provide financial advice and references for mortgages.
*subject to your SDC status.
How Do I Get Started?
Our registration process is simple and can be done online or by phone. We will require the following information, preferably by fax, post or email attachment:
- A completed ICS Umbrella Personal Details form
- A copy of the photo pages of your passport or your photo driver’s licence
- A copy of a valid work visa/permit (if applicable)
- A P45 from your last employer or a P46
Upon receipt of these details we will contact your agency or client and request the issue of your contract to ICS Umbrella Ltd. We will send a copy of the contract to you for review before we sign it on your behalf.
You will then receive a Contract of Employment with ICS Umbrella Ltd, which you will need to sign and return.
What Happens At The End Of My Contract?
You may continue to use our Umbrella Company when you change contracts or restart after a break from contracting. Simply keep us up to date with your circumstances.
How Do I Submit My Expenses* And Timesheets?
It is imperative that you record your time spent on assignments on the timesheets provided by the agency or client. Dependent on your SDC status, expense claims chargeable to your agency or client are completed subject to their own processes. It is your responsibility to ensure that your timesheets and expense claims are approved and submitted according to the processes outlined in your contract. Expense claims not chargeable to the agency or client are to be submitted by completing an ICS Umbrella Employee Expense form, as per the guidelines in our Expenses Policy.
Please forward copies of all timesheets and expense claims to:
Fax: 0844 259 0028
Delays in submitting this information may lead to a delay in payment and/or receipt of cleared funds. We keep accurate records of all timesheets received. Please inform us of times you are not working to ensure that we can detect any potentially missing timesheets.
What insurance does ICS Umbrella provide?
We have a comprehensive range of insurance in place to protect you and the business, including:
- Employers’ Liability insurance up to £10,000,000
- Public Liability insurance up to £5,000,000
- Professional Indemnity insurance up to £2,000,000
I don’t have a current P45. What should I do?
If you do not have a P45, please ask us to send you a P46. The Inland Revenue will then advise us of your correct tax code.
Can I get same day transfers?
Yes, at no extra cost to you.
How do I prove my earnings if I want to apply for a mortgage?
We can provide you with the necessary documentation and put you in touch with specialists who facilitate mortgages for contractors.
Am I a Director or Shareholder of the company?
No, our employees are not directors or shareholders and they are not paid dividends. Instead we pay a salary to you.
What happens at the end of the tax year?
If you are required to submit a tax return, we will provide you with a P60. We can arrange for your tax return to be completed. Please contact us for details.
What does “self billing” mean?
A self billing agency is one with an arrangement between the agency or client in which they prepare the invoice and forward a copy to the Umbrella Company.
As you enter your timesheet, the agency or client raises their own invoice to be billed each time a payment is made. Self billing removes the requirement to supply invoices, resulting in a more efficient payment process.
How do I register?
To register simply call us on our freephone telephone number 0800 195 3750. We will help you complete the application form with you in a matter of minutes and send you the details that you need to sign and return via email. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have.
What do I do if I wish to leave you or have got a permanent job?
Once you have informed us you are leaving, we will collect all outstanding funds to make the final payment to your account. We will issue you your P45 immediately to give to your new employer.
Can I work on more than one contract at the same time?
Yes, you can work on multiple contracts at the same time at no additional cost.
How do I know when I’ve been paid?
On the same day we process your payment, a payslip will be emailed to you. This will show the net figure being transferred to your account as well as the deductions made for PAYE, national insurance and our margin. The expenses processed will also be shown on the payslip.
What tax do I pay?
As a contractor using your own Limited company you will be liable to make PAYE, Employees and Employers National Insurance deductions. With ICS Umbrella, we will take care of all your VAT, PAYE and NI liabilities.
Will I need to keep receipts?
Yes. It is very important that you keep all your receipts for any expenses you claim, including fuel and subsistence receipts. Without copies of your receipts we are unable to process your expenses. If you claim expenses without a corresponding receipt you will be penalised by HMRC and will have to repay your tax underpayment, as well as any additional penalties imposed by HMRC.
Is there a limit to what I can claim each week?
No. However, it is best to claim receipts regularly rather than store them up. If we cannot pay all your expenses in one week the outstanding balance will carry over to the following week. We cannot carry over outstanding expenses between tax years, but these can be claimed from HMRC at the end of the year, for which we will provide you with a statement of expenses.
Am I protected from investigation from the Inland Revenue if I register with an umbrella company?
No company can offer you complete protection against HMRC investigation. ICS will only pay expenses to which you are legally entitled. If you have submitted an expense claim to which you are not entitled, HMRC could reclaim the tax underpayment and impose a large fine.
Do I need to be concerned about IR35?
No. All contractors using an umbrella company are deemed to be working within IR35 and as such you will not fall under IR35 rules. You will be paid via PAYE only and will not receive dividends in any form.
How does the new legislation regarding Managed Service Companies (MSCs) affect me?
Since April 2007 the only legal way to receive dividends is through your own personal Limited Company, over which you must have complete financial and administrative control. You can be safe in knowledge that you are totally compliant as we pay through PAYE.
Can I make any money referring colleagues or friends?
Yes. We operate a referral reward scheme for anyone who recommends a colleague or friend who joins us. Please click here to refer.
Do you provide reference letters for financial institutions?
Yes. We will provide reference letters to financial institutions free of charge.
What is my employment status?
You are employed by ICS Umbrella. We enter into a legally binding contract with your agency or client. The contract states that we will supply them with the contractor with the necessary skills to satisfy the clients’ requirements. The agreed rate for the services performed is paid to ICS Umbrella over a predetermined time period.
The agency or client has the option to choose to use a contractor rather than a permanent employee if they do not wish to assume the employment rights that associated with permanent employees.
ICS Umbrella assumes these obligations and employees you. Your status as a contractor is not affected and your working processes remain unaltered, and you will have the assurance that you are working in a completely compliant manner in line with current employment and financial legislation.