Osborne urged to delay T&S legislation

More than 50 MPs have signed a joint-letter urging George Osborne to use Wednesday’s Budget to end the ‘sticking plaster’ approach taken towards contractors and contracting.

Prominent figures from the Tories, Lib Dems, SNP and Labour, including Treasury Select Committee member Helen Goodman MP, all signed the letter, organised by PRISM.

Crawford Temple, PRISM chief executive, said the “level of support” for contractors was such that it would be “reasonable” if curbs on travel and subsistence tax relief were delayed.

This call to shelve the T&S legislation is not in the letter, but it does ask for a ‘fairness’ review of contractor rules and this would dictate the legislation does not proceed from April.

“[Contractors] have been the subject of a sticking-plaster approach that has created layers of confusing rules and no clarity over their tax affairs,” says the letter, signed by 55 MPs and sent to the chancellor.

“In the last 12 months alone, the sector has been subjected to two significant changes, one in the Finance Act 2015 and the second proposed in the Finance Bill 2016. Further changes to IR35 are also expected in 2017.

“It is time for government to conduct a strategic review… to end the sticking plaster approach, bring clarity… and give all types of workers a fair deal and equal recognition.”

The Office of Tax Simplification is recommended in the letter to lead the review, which would aim to ‘give the right workers the right reliefs,’ and the right tax submissions to HMRC.

The letter follows an independent review of self-employment for the government, which last month said ministers should simplify the tax system so it better supports independent workers.

Mar 14, 2016