Is 90% Really A Realistic Return?

In all probability no, no it’s not. Perhaps we should clarify that, for anybody earning much more than minimum wage then a 90%+ return just isn’t realistic. So how do the UK contractor payroll companies get away with advertising that? Here’s some information from one of them Darwin that shows you just why there is so much confusion around this.

The following screenshot is from a Google Adwords ad (i.e. paid advertising) from Darwin, look at the wording:-


“Up to 90% After Tax, 100% Compliant Get your Tax Illustration Today! 100% HMRC Compliant – Take Home Up To 90% Pay – QC Developed Solutions”

That is pretty clear? Up to 90% includes 90%. And yet from their very own website we have the following screenshot with this text:-


“Put simply if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. The fact is someone offering you a +90% rate of return probably can’t afford to invest in the legal framework necessary to let you sleep at night.”

So what is the truth, I don’t think people will ever get to the bottom of this and what really are realistic returns for UK contractors without the legal headache. And with the way HMRC is slowly and sometimes retrospectively looking into these schemes there is usually a headache at some point down the line, for example there are plenty of examples of Darwin clients being sent letters from HMRC you can see by following that link.

This isn’t about Darwin, they are just one example of a number of companies that offer payroll services for contractors who seem to be confusing even themselves about what they can and can’t offer.


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