ContractorCalculator is requesting your help to push back proposals to reform IR35 in the public sector that would see many contingent staff unjustly forced onto a payroll, by completing a short survey.
HMRC intends to shift the responsibility for determining the IR35 status of public sector contractors over to ill-informed, often risk-averse, engagers and agencies by April 2017.
The changes look likely to have a huge impact on the take-home pay of contractors who would be taxed as employees without receiving the same employment rights. Soon, the legislation could be enforced upon all contractors, with experts predicting that a private sector roll-out won’t be far behind.
“The IR35 reforms bear hugely detrimental implications for contractors,” warns ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin. “We believe the motivations behind the proposed reforms are unsubstantiated, but we need contractors to help by providing statistical data that will further our current efforts to lobby Government against these changes.”
The questionnaire seeks to gauge a comparison of the relative income of contractors and permanent employees, as well as their perceptions of how much tax contingent staff are subject to compared with their full-time counterparts. Chaplin hopes that this will provide a clearer outlook whilst helping to quell HMRC’s claims:
“The taxman has long targeted the contracting sector in efforts to increase its tax yield. These reforms have been proposed on the basis that most contractors are tax dodgers, and that simply isn’t the case.”
HMRC has continually reiterated its belief that non-compliance with the IR35 legislation is widespread, although its claims have never been substantiated. Prior to the announcement of the proposals during the 2016 Budget, groundless media reports surfaced claiming the changes are expected to net the Exchequer an extra £400m in tax.
However, a recent report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has found that roughly nine in ten public sector contractors are compliant from a tax perspective, despite HMRC’s insistence that the compliance rate is closer to 10%.
“The more evidence we have to oppose HMRC’s claims, the stronger our case is,” concludes Chaplin. “Every contractor needs to have their say in order to help fight this contrived regime.”
Contractors can help to better inform HMRC by taking the 60-second questionnaire here, and put themselves in with a chance of winning £200 worth of Amazon vouchers in the process.