ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Rise of the gig economy: Is the UK tax base under threat?

What does the gig economy mean for our tax revenues? There’s so much talk about where the government should be spending our tax income. But where does this money come from – and how will the gig economy and changing workplace affect that source of income?

Continue reading

Imagine a world of strong economies

In times of rapid change, businesses need trusted leaders who can think strategically, act with integrity and use their influence to empower prosperity. Around the world, ICAEW Chartered Accountants are using their skills and expertise to help organisations and institutions of all sizes turn uncertainty into opportunity. Here are some of the key social, economic and financial issues our members are addressing right now.

Learn more about the ICAEW

Should we tax robots to pay for pensions?

As Artificial Intelligence and automation become more prevalent in the workplace, we explore the pros and cons of taxing robots to pay for our social benefits.

"As birth rates fall, there will be fewer people of working age contributing to the tax system."

Changing work patterns and the effect on NI contributions

The rise of the gig economy is one example of the changing future of work – and it’s set to disrupt the tax system. That’s because nearly 18 percent of our tax income comes from National Insurance (NI), and employers’ NI contributions (NIC) make up a significant portion of that. So as the number of self-employed contractors rise, we’ll see a decline in employers’ NIC receipts, which will lead to less tax income in the coffer.

It’s an issue addressed by Matthew Taylor in a recent report on modern working practices. He suggests that there should be a new category – 'dependent contractors' who would be given more employment rights and in exchange, would pay a higher National Insurance rate.

The impact of flexible working on business rates

Business rates are expected to add £30bn to the UK’s treasury this year. But if more employees start working from home, causing businesses to move to smaller premises (or forgoing a physical location altogether), the government will lose out on a fair chunk of their revenue.

Should we tax robots to pay for pensions?

As Artificial Intelligence and automation become more prevalent in the workplace, we explore the pros and cons of taxing robots to pay for our social benefits.

- Article continues -
"As the number of self-employed contractors rise, we’ll see a decline in employers’ NIC receipts, which will lead to less tax income in the coffer."

What this means for us

The decline in our tax base is bound to have a resonating effect. Local government will lose out on the business rates used to fund their expenditure, while the drop in NI contributions will mean cuts to essential health services. And as birth rates fall, there will be fewer people of working age contributing to the tax system. So who will pay the pensions of the ageing population?

As leaders in accountancy, finance and business, ICAEW focuses on ethics, technology and innovative thinking to help organisations and professionals take the long view on key issues. So together, we can achieve more than you’d imagine.

Discover more...

Gig economy workers call for greater regulation and rights

More than half of gig economy workers (57%) believe that gig economy firms are exploiting a lack of regulation, according to new research by CIPD.

Read article

How the Taylor Review could impact the world of work

Judging by the media coverage expended in recent years on the changing nature of work, and the hollowing out of the workforce, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a sizeable chunk of the population has shifted to a combination of self-employment, zero-hours or life in the gig economy.

Read article

MPs slam employment practices of gig economy

Gig economy companies like Uber, Amazon, Hermes and Deliveroo are passing the financial buck to the government with "bogus" employment loopholes, say MPs.

Read article

As well as 'being good with numbers', our 150,000 members are talented, ethical and committed business professionals who are able to share knowledge and insight with governments, regulators and business leaders worldwide, to ensure we can all have a successful and sustainable future.

Connect with us

If you're thinking of using the services of an accountant you should look for someone who has a professional qualification; always check what qualifications and experience they have.

The ICAEW Academy of Professional Development offers a comprehensive curriculum of CPD courses, Talent development programmes and Specialist qualifications.

Read the latest blog from Michael Izza covering today's pressing issues in business and finance.