Thousands of small businesses and freelancers who paid the so-called stealth tax 'IR35' in the early years now have an opportunity to reclaim that tax if they think they paid it unnecessarily.
IR35 was a measure introduced by the Treasury in 1999. Its aim was to tax freelancers or contractors as if they were 'disguised employees'. Since its introduction, the situation has clarified as a result of many disputes with the Revenue going in favour of the small business, and advances in case law.
Qdos Consulting, the UK's leading advisers for tax issues for freelancers; and Shout99, the UK's largest online freelancer network, are offering a new facility, known as 'Out of the Box' for those who were caught by IR35 and want to revisit - and possibly reclaim the tax - of past years. Tax paid incorrectly can be retrospectively reclaimed.
In the early days of IR35, many freelancers and contractors were advised or decided to 'tick the box and pay up'. Since then, many believe that they might have been premature in handing over large amounts of tax because they thought that the Revenue might think that they were 'disguised employees' rather than legitimate small businesses.
Steve Greenwell from Qdos Consulting said: "The level of uncertainty surrounding the introduction of IR35 was so great that many small businesses 'ticked the box' on the Revenue forms and paid up - rather than face the prospect of what seemed a lengthy and uncertain battle with the Revenue.
"As the situation has clarified, many people might regret those decisions which could have resulted in hundreds of thousands of pounds being handed over to the Revenue when it was not necessary. This new service gives those businesses a second chance to have their situation reviewed - with a greater level of certainty."
Susie Hughes, managing director of Shout99, said: "We know that many freelancers paid the IR35 tax when they were unsure of the situation. This gives them an opportunity to look again at whether or not they should have - with the wisdom and experience of hindsight."
A initial review of an individual's situation through Out of the Box is available free to any current member of Qdos's Freelance Club and can then be pursued on a No Win, No Fee basis.
For more information about how to find out if you are 'Outside the Box' call: Qdos's freelancer team on 01455 852030 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or see:
For press enquiries, contact:
Susie Hughes, 07703 486276
March 11, 2004
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