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IR35: the prevailing uncertainties

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Widespread changes to the IR35 rules came into force on 6 April 2021. Despite a 12-month delay to implementation, detailed HMRC guidance and subsequent amendments in Finance Bill 2021, questions remain unanswered. In addition to the complicated test for determining employment tax status and therefore whether an engagement falls within the scope of IR35, complex supply chains face significant uncertainties regarding whether a supply is ‘fully contracted out’ and therefore the identity of the client bearing ultimate responsibility for IR35 compliance. Notwithstanding the use of contractual protections and indemnities to manage risk, nothing short of substantive HMRC guidance will resolve the issue fully.
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