There has been legislation in place for 20 years that was
designed to prevent tax avoidance by workers and the firms hiring them. For the
last few years this has focussed on the public sector but as of April 2020 it will
also apply to the private sector as well.
The government are trying to resolve the inequity of
contractors paying less tax compared to an employee based on the same level of
income. Equally they are targeting businesses who avoid paying National Insurance,
PAYE, pension contributions etc. by using contractors rather than taking on
Where this is most prominent is in the financial services
sector, particularly the banks who use IT contractors for their major
infrastructure projects. Earlier this month RBS announced that it will no
longer take on contractors. The other banks that have also done the same are Barclays
Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Morgan Stanley and Tesco Bank.
Any future relationship between the bank and the contractor
will involve the payment of PAYE which will reduce the earning capacity of the
contractor while still paying tax.
It does mean that there will be a large number of
contractors who will need to carefully consider their tax position such as
their personal allowance as well as their pension position as they come under
greater scrutiny from HMRC. There are also implications for those contractors
with mortgages if their income takes a significant hit.
Genuine contractors, freelancers, interims or consultants who are in business on their own account, should have nothing to fear from IR35. This is so long as time is taken to understand how the legislation works and best practice is applied.
Andrew Hannay said “Already at RobMac we are seeing more
people coming to discuss their situation in advance of the changes taking place
next year. Typically, in the recent past the contractor’s service company would
make the pension contributions however it may be much more tax efficient to
consider the contractor making personal contributions into his or her pension
in order to reduce his/her overall tax bill. It’s important therefore for people to
re-examine their tax position before it’s too late. ‘’
Robson Macintosh & Company Ltd.
15 Manor Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH3 7DH
Tel: 0131 226 6700 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registered in Scotland No. - SC232903.
Registered office: 15 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7DH
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