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Hi,

Please see contractor tax specialist Qdos Contractor’s reaction to the Budget, in which the Government announced a consultation into IR35 in the private sector.

Qdos Contractor CEO Seb Maley is available for immediate and exclusive comment – please get in touch to discuss any Budget changes impacting the UK’s self-employed.

Many thanks,

Ben Smith

IR35 consultation a relief, but Government must change its stance.

Following today’s Budget in which the ‘Red Book’ gave details of a consultation into private sector IR35, Qdos Contractor of The Qdos Group has warned that this does not gloss over what is a continued attack on the UK’s independent workforce with regards to the off-payroll working rules.

Consultation into private sector IR35.

Giving details on IR35, the ‘Red Book’ explained:

“A possible next step would be to extend the reforms to the private sector, to ensure individuals who effectively work as employees are taxed as employees even if they choose to structure their work through a company. It is right that the government take account of the needs of businesses and individuals who would implement any change.

“Therefore the government will carefully consult on how to tackle non-compliance in the private sector, drawing on the experience of the public sector reforms, including through external research already commissioned by the government and due to be published in 2018.”

Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO commented:

“That the Government plans to explore private sector IR35 is a relief in the sense that reform was not announced today. This consultation must be taken seriously though, and not simply be used as a tool to delay any announcements on private sector reform. Everything still points towards these changes being enforced at some point. So we must be realistic.

“A consultation doesn’t detract from the bigger issue either, and that is this Government is failing to take care of the independent workforce with regards to IR35. We do not believe reform is a fair, nor necessary way to stamp out what the Government claims to be widespread tax avoidance from contractors.

“Regardless of widely predicted future changes, contractors, private sector companies and agencies must not panic. But mistakes made in the public sector cannot be made again. Companies and agencies need adequate time to prepare, and the Government must work with industry leaders and put together a detailed roadmap. It is imperative that the research the Government has commissioned in respect of the public sector reform takes into account the issues faced not only by engagers, but by contractors too.”

Consultation into employment status.

In the ‘Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates’ document, also published today, the Government announced they will review complex employment status rules, which impact IR35.

“As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, the government will publish a consultation as part of its response to Matthew Taylor’s review of modern working practices, considering options for reform to make the employment status tests for both employment rights and tax clearer. The government recognises that this is an important and complex issue, and so will work with stakeholders to ensure that any potential changes are considered carefully.”

Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO commented:

“We welcome the long overdue review of confusing employment and tax status. The boundaries between what legally constitutes as a contractor, an employee or even gig economy worker must be simplified for everyone involved.

“In time this might become all the more important should IR35 reform reach the private sector. With confusion surrounding the definition of each worker, the Government cannot expect the companies engaging them to make accurate employment and tax status decisions with regards to thousands of workers.”

ENDS

NOTES

Qdos Contractor CEO Seb Maley is available for comment and interview. Please contact Ben Smith on 07496736688, or at ben@levo.london. With over 25 years’ experience, Qdos Contractor is a specialist contractor tax, IR35 and insurance advisor, and has saved UK freelancers and contractors over £35million in tax. Qdos Contractor is part of The Qdos Group, a leading provider of innovative business solutions; from insurance, business compliance, consultancy, legal and accounting services.

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