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Government launches review of IR35 changes

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On 7 January, the government launched a review of the draft Finance Bill legislation extending the off-payroll (IR35) rule changes to the private sector from April 2020. The review, which responds to widespread concerns that the legislation lacks sufficient detail, will gather evidence from affected individuals and businesses and is expected to conclude by mid-February.

The ATT and the Law Society had raised particular concerns about the lack of detail around when an agency or engager could be held liable for unpaid tax and NICs because another party in the labour supply chain had failed in their obligations under the new rules.

Announcing the review, the financial secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, said: ‘we recognise that concerns have been raised about the forthcoming reforms to the off-payroll working rules’. The review aims to ‘determine if any further steps can be taken to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of the reforms’.

The government will carry out further evaluation of HMRC’s check employment status for tax (CEST) tool and will explore whether it could provide more help for businesses to correctly determine employment status.

The government says it will launch a separate review of support for the self-employed, to ensure they are not impacted by the changes.

Andy Chamberlain, deputy director of policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-employed (IPSE), described the review as ‘disappointingly hasty and inadequate’ and called on the government to ‘give more time for a full review that includes an impact assessment of the changes in the public sector and the likely effects on the private sector’.

Chamberlain added that the review should be independently chaired to reinforce its integrity.


Issue: 1470
Categories: News