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Whether you’re planning on moving into a freelancing career this year or you’re a current contractor wondering what 2016 might hold, it’s important to look at forecasts and predictions that can help you plan productively. Of course, nobody can ever say with 100% certainty what might happen in such a diverse and dynamic sector; however, this doesn’t mean that looking at the opinions of experts won’t help to give us a clearer idea of what to expect. Here’s what we’ve noticed…

More Demand for Specialist Skills

The first important prediction deals with the specific contractor skills that are set to be particularly valuable in the 2016 market. As might be expected, many of these niches relate to technical advancements: cyber-security, for instance, is a constantly developing topic and those who can offer up-to-the-minute expertise are highly valued. Elsewhere, contractors with skills and knowledge concerning mobile technology and the customer journey are tipped to be particularly sought after throughout 2016.

Growing Interest in Contractors of all Kinds

If the skills discussed above don’t apply to you, however, there’s absolutely no reason to be concerned: the contracting sector as a whole is also expected to experience general growth across the wide variety of different services that a freelancer might offer.

This means both an increase in the number of freelancing professionals and also the number of companies who are interested in employing contractors, with demand swelling to match supply.

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Incoming Tax Changes No Cause for Concern

Over the past few months there has been a lot of coverage that details incoming tax changes, and speculation about how freelancers could be affected; although initially there was a lot of concern that alterations such as changes to dividend taxes could leave contractors losing income, expert opinion reports that ‘the overall impact will not be as significant as some commentators originally feared’.

The Finance Bill confirmed that tax relief on travel and subsistence would be removed for workers that are subject to Supervision, Director and Control. Whilst this will impact some contractors and freelancers, companies like ICS are already creating SDC assessments for their clients and ensuring there is a suitable solution regardless. It is important for you to consider when choosing a provider, what they are doing to prepare for the changes in April and if they have a solid understanding of the contractor marketplace.

It’s always reassuring to know that somebody has your back when you’re navigating new terrain, and the contractor accountants at ICS can help to smooth your journey through a brand new year. To find out more about our services you can get in touch with us today, online or at 0800 195 3750, or connect with us over Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.