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Key Portfolio whats the point?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by tommyp215, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. I'm doing supply at the moment and my agency urged me to join this company to deal with my tax. I can claim expenses to offset my tax and increase my pay or so I was told. I have had a few payslips through and if was not for my supply agencies guarantee to may me better off I would have lost money being with them. It seems that I make no money out of claiming the expenses but key take a nice £22 pound fee a week. It seems pointless joining all you seem to be doing is make this company some money not yourself I think I'd rather pay it in tax. Also is it normal to be paying your agency's Ni contributions as I seem to be pay may own and some for them.
  2. Saves the agency money and creates a double headed problem if payroll concerns arise. You have a payroll query. Agency says not my problem mate, phone the umbrella company.
    A payroll query is not just about being payed on time it can be about an issue of P45 or P60 not being issued for example. A supply teacher working multi agency and keeping good records needs this as they are money when making tax claims.
    Needless to say I had problems getting a P45 out of an umbrella company. They said they had sent it then said they would send a duplicate which never arrived.
    However you can't get a duplicate P45 you can ask for a statement of earnings if the P45 has dissapeared.
    So IMO my umbrella company were doing flim flams for whatever reason.
    However not that much choice some agencies like to <strike>bully</strike> negotiate you into umbrella companies.
    Some supply say umbrellas are ok
    And I say they are not ok

  3. Thanks for your reply. so it is a waste time as i thought. Any ideas on my NI contributions. This week I have paid £33 for my NI contributions but an additional £38 for my supply agency is this right? I dont see why i would have to pay Ni twice? Just feels like everyone out to scam me at the moment. Cant wait to find myself permanent contract again.
  4. With respect I do not like them, I like things simple, the agency deals with payroll. At the end of the day it is, what goes onto your account.
    Some supply like umbrella companies.
    I personally avoid them. However an agency should really give you a choice.
    One thing which has never been sorted out. It is a technical and legal question which would require a test case in a court of law.
    If it goes pear shaped in school, who has the insurance liability?
    An agency will say no worries (because they do not know)
    The school will probably have most liability however after paying out they may then sue the agency.
    What a supply teachers position is after the agency has been sued by the school if they have elected to go with an umbrella company is probably not clear.
    Supply teachers are not generally operating as sole traders with their own liability insurance.
    More informed people will probably enlighten me on this point.
    A rule of thumb is that litigation will go with who has the likelyhood to make the payout. As a supply teacher is unlikely to have the financial backup of a school or agency it is unlikely that that it is worthwhile anyone trying to recover anything from the supply.
    Schools are relatively low risk unless you are doing practical or PE subjects, so no test case has appeared.

  5. mereside

    mereside New commenter

    Umbrella companies are total *** and so are the agencies that insist you must use them. The only real beneficiaries are the two companies as the umbrella companies make their money by charging you for processing your pay and the supply agency saves as you end up paying NI employer contributions. However, if you kick up a fuss then you will not get any work, if there is any. It is a total nightmare where the supply teacher is working and in effect financing 2 companies through their labour. Total and complete rip-off.
  6. Of course it's a waste of money! That's why umbrella companies are getting bigger - because they make a good profit. However, I am with 4 agencies and not one 'forced' me to join this scheme. Next time, have a look at the smallprint and just say 'no'! Maybe you could call them and ask if you can be removed from the scheme?
  7. I'm not with Key Pay, but I got my daily fee if worked, down to £1 with the umbrella I am with.

    For me it makes sense, as I get work equally and often between my two agencies, and it means my tax code is not split and so I am not paying too much tax. (and having the hassle of getting it back)

    Also I am only paying employees NICs, and my "expenses" are saving me around £100 a week and I am actually taking home more than I was before. It also helped that I talked up my daily rate with one agency, the second one I transfered over really for the sake of convenience, I don't get as high daily rate, but at least I know where my pay is coming from and I dont have to watch my tax.
  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    It works for me as I drive an 80mile round trip, claim mileage and breakfast/lunch/dinner plus any sundries such as computer stationery and other resources. Saves me loads of money and all claims are perfectly legit, even if I don't have breakfast and evening meal.
  9. mereside

    mereside New commenter

    BelleDuJour wrote "Saves me loads of money and all claims are perfectly legit, even if I don't have breakfast and evening meal". I hope the taxman is not reading this forum. I have been told that you need to have and keep receipts if you are claiming for such things as the taxman can demand to see them to check that expenses have actually been incurred, and I was told this by an umbrella company. I must admit that there does seem to be conflicting advice as to what is properly allowable and what isn't.
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I'm not sure if HMRC do check receipts. The point is a moral one - how can you explain to the tax man that you are claiming for breakfast when you arrive at 8.30 like everyone else and you leave at 4 to 4.30 so you are not working late?
    I claim for lunch because I occasionally get lunch. I claim mileage. I recently got a letter from Key Portfolio stating that I wasn't claiming enough expenses. What else can I claim?
    It is the mileage that helps. Generally I do 70 miles a day due to where I normally work. But then KP do charge a handling fee and I pay employers NIC. So I'm not sure.
  11. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Home office allowance is no longer allowed, so I'm surprised that computer stationery etc is. I certainly don't claim breakfast, even though I have to leave at stupid o' clock.
    Even though I'm NIC exempt, they are still charging me Employer's NIC and a &pound;20 'handling fee'.

  12. I'm just getting to grips with this supply teaching. I've been teaching secondary science for 4 years and am looking to try primary (to get a bit of sanity back!). Only problem was, to get some experience in primary i've gone on supply to free up some time. I work through Capita and the Key portfolio scheme. I claim about &pound;60 in expenses a day (quite a drive!) which reduces the amount of tax i get. I'm not sure when (and if) i get these expenses back? I've filled in the expenses claim form and sent off to the key portfolio office but would have though it would have been paid by now (Sent 2 weeks ago?). If i don't get the expenses back then that puts me on &pound;95 a day with my expenses (admitedly not quite &pound;60) to pay on top. Could someone enlighten me on the LEA supply pool i've heard about. I live nr fareham, portsmouth so have access to hampshire and west sussex. The supply pools pay your NI and pension so ive heard and i was wondering if the agency pay is as poor as i'm hoping its not, then the supply pool could be a more worthwhile venture.
    Any help from the knowlegeable would be grately appreciated!!!!
  13. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    It use to work on the basis and I presume that it as not changed, that lets say you got &pound;120 a day and you worked 5 days, whiched added up to &pound;600. The expenses was &pound;5 breakfast, &pound;7.50 for your dinner and &pound;15 for working late (which all seemed automatically to be paid to you) and milage (40p a mile), so lets you did a round trip of 50 miles, so you claim &pound;20 petrol. So all told you claim &pound;47.5 x 5 days (expenses for week 237.5).
    Key portfolio takes the 237.5 from the &pound;600, leaving &pound;362.5, they take the fee out, use to be &pound;20, so you get taxed on &pound;342.5 . After the tax is taken out of your money, the expenses are then added back to net pay after tax, to give you the overall net pay.
    I hope this helps..
  14. To react to the previous post, I thought it worked exactly the same way until yesterday.
    I have been with Key Portfolio for some considering time, I guess 5 years. I enjoy supplying since it's hassle free with almost no administration. To satisfy my hunger for CPD I do some other activities, extra job which compensates for holidays when a supply teacher won't receive any pay
    Back to the Key Portfolio issue, as a supply you are not entitled to claim £3 each week for the home office. I was always convinced that I can tick all three boxes (breakfast, lunch and dinner) until very recently. If I'm not mistaken, on the expense form it used to say: Breakfast if you leave your home before 7am, Lunches, Dinners (if you out of your home for more than 10 hrs, including he journey). I do leave my house before 7 each day and I do not get home before 5.30pm. However, they have changed the expense form very slightly so I personally haven't eve. Noticed the changed. In section A they sneakily added "when purchasing food".
    Does it affect your wages? Big time!!!
    Key Porfolio issued an article about Expense Sampling Process. You were not required to provide receipts for the breakfast, lunch or dinner claims; yet from March 2011 Key Portfolio will pick 100 candidates who will be asked to provide the receipts for their food claims.
    I know a lot of supply stuff that claim the expenses for food without purchasing them thinking it is all legitimate. But is it really?
    I got an email from Key Portfolio I which they state you are not entitled to claim breakfast, lunch or dinner unless you purchases them on the day of your assignment. So even if I buy an M&S salad on Sunday for Monday's lunch, you cannot use this receipt when asked to provide the receipts.
    SO I am asking myself: "What IS the point using Key Porfolio if your weekly expenses are getting more and more limited, since the tax man is trying to save some dosh. Other than the travel expenses, which are probably almost he same as the £22 which Key Portfolio charges weekly for their services, and some occasional work-related magazines or GTC subscription there is nothing else you can claim. Well u less you are an over-sees teacher, which I was once too but could not claim extra expenses as I didn not start working for Key Portfolio immediately after signing the papers with the agency.
    I'm now not convinced if there is any point filling the expense forms in each week, photocopying the receipts for
    my travelcard for my record and then sending everything each and every week to Glasgow. The breakfast lunches and dinner made the big difference and that's what the agency first told everyone. That you are automatically entitled to claim lunches and if you leave work before 7am you can claim lunches and the same with dinners.
    I need to start getting used to getting payed MUCH less each week whether I stay with Key Portfolio or not?
    Any one had a similar experience?
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    How can you in all honesty claim for breakfast and tea as well as working late? Did you pay for a breakfast out? Go out for tea? No - then you are defrauding the taxpayer. I used to claim through Key Portfolio (for travel expenses) but never claimed meals or late work as I just felt guilty about it. They encouraged me to claim these expenses but they are not legitimate and any tax investigation which does happen would reveal that.

  16. This is a very very dangerous road to travel on and if you get investigated, you will be probably be found to be foul of IR35 legislation and then you will feel the big fat ***** of HMRC down your throat.

    If you are a limited company, you can at least fold it. If you are unlimited (a sole trader)-{you may have noted that engaging in this particular series of activities makes you SELF EMPLOYED. If you are again found breaching IR35, rather than paying the government lots of money for them to be frivoulous with, HMRC will come and have sex with your gran. Up the ****.

    Sadly, with statute law, as cryptic as it may be and as buried in small print as it may be, ignorance is not an excuse

    Chances are that HMRC won't come and put the heat on you, but if you do, you will probably see the umbrella and the agency pull the "not me guv" card and it really really won't be them.

    Business is business and any way you can get people doing the job in this competitive, tough climate wins. There really are no morals or romance at all.

    Be vigilant
  17. I have been asked by the agency who supplies most of my work to choose a payroll company as I have managed so far to stay on paye and they clearly do not like this. I have said that when they get me the long term role I asked for and was pretty much told would be forthcoming at registartion - I would use the umbrella company. I am getting plenty of day to day so all is ticking over for me but stilll they ask. I just refer back to our agreement! On the subject of expenses - caiming is such a grey area (especially travel that HMRC say supply cannot claim) I can do without the extra worry anyway!
  18. So, if the agency gives you £85 and charges £185, (like Select used to in the old days), their only work is a phonecall and keeping your records. Nice work!

    Expenses are hugely interesting. I'd say the grey area was pretty white to me. The place of work "argument" has been done by HMRC and some crafty supply teacher got hammered. I think that is the legal precedent now. Your place of work changes and you are not allowed to claim expenses to it.

    However, there is a clause where if you drive a van, you can claim expenses. This would possibly have you arguing that your "trade" was in supply teaching. However, there are lots of non-trades people claiming van expenses. You can also claim the VAT back on it's purchase and you might as well go down that route as most of your assets are wasting and it pays.

    As I mentioned earlier, I was spending a fortune on petrol and I spoke to Select (back in the day) and they said "We'll sort you out if you are a limited company". What that means is "We'll pimp you out, but if you get caught, you legally have accounts and HMRC can paw through them, rather than ours". ie:- If you do fraud, it's you who gets hammered.

    A limited company, VAT registered working through an agent, doing your own accounts and getting them signed off WAS the way to go. That way you maximise your bang-per-buck. However, cover supervisors have taken over and it's a lot of work for 4 days a term pay!

    You'd be better off applying these and other money maximisation in another self-employed manner
  19. ........also, but it's largely academic. Agency staff are 0% rated for vat. This means that if you were VAT registered, you could claim the VAT back on everything, yet not have to charge it (pay it)
  20. Thats an interesting idea - so, to be a super efficient supply teacher we should all use a van, loaded up with resources and equipment! We`d be fully justified in using the vehicle as it would be impossible to get it all on a bus/ in a bag. You`d never see a plumber on a bus! I am looking on autotrader already.....

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