Changes Freelancer will notice in 2015
First and foremost, it is safe to say that in any industry the emergence of a new year will in almost all cases mean the emergence of new elements to remember in whatever business one might be involved in.
In the freelance market however, it is often more integral to be educated on the potential changes for the coming year. As a self-managing professional the potential damage of overlooking economic changes as well as legislative and tax related updates could mean the difference between a year of success or floundering over missed information. Here follows is a brief synopsis of some major changes to the Australian economic and business market and how a freelancer might prepare and educate for the coming year.
Predictions for Workers in 2015
One of the most impactful developments for freelancers in recent history is the concept of the ‘shared economy’. Much has already been addressed on this topic in terms of theorizing, and 2015 will certainly see a further expanse in this concept. As of last year around two thirds of job seekers in Australia reportedly turned to platforms such as UberX, Airtasker and 99designs to supplement their income in the approaching year. What does this mean for freelancers? Well the most obvious answer would be more competition. Airtasker’s ‘Future of Work Research Monitor’ revealed in a study of 1,004 employed Aussies in January that over 84% now consider the 9-5 working week as inflexible for workers in 2015 and in the future. This demonstrates a rather encapsulating paradigm shift in workers ideology towards full time occupation. What this means is a shift towards of a more focused look at freelance and supplementary independent work. Furthermore, economists projected growths for 2015 are set to slow, which also lends to the increasing value of sharing platforms in supporting employment in the economic climate of the coming year.
Tax Rates and Freelancers
Another development that is a constant evolution on the Australian worker is the fluctuation of tax rates and their impact on all working residents, including the self-employed. Firstly comes the temporary budget repair levy, which will only effect higher income earners over $180,000. This coupled with the growing figures turning to supplementary income through independent work may actually push some earners into the higher echelons, adding an extra 2% levy on top of the existing 45% taxation threshold for this group. Freelancers are also required to pay Medicare, which in 2015 stands at 2.0% if eligible private health insurance is not maintained. For those who fall into lower income quartiles however, it is important to remember that there are also full or partial Medicare exemptions on offer.
Changes to Make Freelance Appealing
In terms of motivation towards freelance work, the potential changes planned for 1 July 2015 in regards to return to work schemes may also shed more light on the attractive nature of self-employment or sub-contracting freely. These changes include the compulsory attendance of your recovery or return to work programs or your leave benefits may be cancelled. Now obviously following these programs helps to ensure fluid migration back into the work force, however when considering the stricter systems that must be adhered to, the potential for movement in to a more independent job could reveal itself in the freelance market. The dependent spouse tax offset has also been phased out as of 1 July 2014, unless that dependent spouse is genuinely unable to work due to disability and care obligations. This development may also see a lean towards independent employment for those who once relied on their spouse offsetting taxation through this system to appropriately balance household financing.
Conclusively; as the changes for 2015 continue to reveal and evolve then so does a freelancer. When the beginning and end comes down to you, it is important to be as educated as possible to ensure solidarity in business in the landscape of a new year. If an incurring change may effect your operation, then the most important part is to maintain an understanding and be prepared to develop with the times.
Morgan writes for SurveyCompare.