Taxman ready to define ‘high risk’ IR35 cases

HM Revenue & Customs will start considering the factors which should constitute a contractor being ‘high risk’ under IR35 from as soon as next month.

Speaking yesterday to CUK, a spokesman for HMRC said it would meet internal stakeholders in “the coming weeks” to look at the criteria for defining a ‘high risk’ case.

News of the meeting follows the government’s announcement on Tuesday, in the Budget, that all IR35 reviews should in future be restricted to “high risk” cases.

Asked about the helpline, also announced by the chancellor to improve IR35’s administration - alongside a monitoring forum and guidance, the Revenue sounded aware of the obvious concern.

It stated: “HMRC can reassure its customers that the information exchanged with the IR35 Helpline will not be used for any purpose other than to address the specific customer request.”

Of the other improvements, the spokesman said: “HMRC are committed to providing guidance on the types of cases it views as outside of IR35, which will narrow the population potentially subject to compliance activity. 

“[In addition] in the coming weeks internal stakeholders will meet to consider what factors constitute a case being high risk, which will inform our approach to IR35 compliance activity.”

Friday 25th March 2011