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Government delays IR35 changes and unveils rescue package for businesses hit by coronavirus

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The chief secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay, confirmed to the House of Commons during the Budget debate on 17 March that the government is to postpone the off-payroll working reforms by one year, until 6 April 2021, in response to the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The chief secretary said: ‘I can also announce that the government are postponing the reforms to the off-payroll working rules IR35 from April 2020 to 6 April 2021. The government will therefore not move the original resolution tonight, but it will shortly table an additional resolution confirming that we will reintroduce the off-payroll working rules provisions by amending the Bill, with a commencement date of the 6 April 2021. This is a deferral in response to the ongoing spread of covid-19 to help businesses and individuals. This is a deferral, not a cancellation, and the government remain committed to reintroducing this policy to ensure that people who are working like employees, but through their own limited company, pay broadly the same tax as those employed directly.’

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to provide practical help and advice for businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus. For those who are unable to pay, HMRC will discuss:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement;
  • suspending debt collection proceedings;
  • cancelling penalties and interest where taxpayers have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately.

The helpline number is 0800 0159 559.

The chancellor has set out further economic measures to react to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, on top of those announced at Spring Budget 2020. This include government-backed loans worth £330bn and a three-month mortgage holiday as part of ‘unprecedented’ measures to help businesses and families. His announcement included:

  • extending the government backed guarantees for business loans, with a package of £330bn of loan guarantees to businesses;
  • extending the interest-free business interruption loan fund up to £5m that will be interest free for six months;
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all shops, pubs, theatres, music venues and restaurants;
  • a cash grant of up to £25,000 for those businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in the hospitality sector;
  • extending cash grants for SMEs up to £10,000; and
  • a three-month mortgage holiday for those in difficulty because of coronavirus.
Issue: 1480
Categories: News