Autumn Statement 2016 due on November 23rd

Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer, will deliver Autumn Statement 2016 on Wednesday November 23rd.

Announcing the date, the Treasury said that the AS would contain the latest forecasts for both the economy and the public finances

But for contractors, the “major thing” that Autumn Statement 2016 will contain is an all-clear to reform IR35 in the public sector, predicts former tax official Carolyn Walsh.

“If decisions have been made, particularly the IR35 reform in the public sector… then why wait?” asked Walsh, referring to this year’s date for the AS falling earlier than the AS in 2014, which was in December.  

One reason to wait, she hinted, is to refine the IR35 proposal, or to afford those who will have to consider and operate the framework from April more learning and preparation time.

“An experienced pay-roller should manage it, yet we are talking mainly about companies whose staff… who have for many years left the payroll function of their business to third party providers”, she said. “It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

Individuals or outfits wanting to comment on IR35 or other government policies, or to suggest a new policy for inclusion in AS 2016, were addressed on Friday by the Treasury.

In fact, officials have published guidance on how to submit an ‘Autumn Statement representation’ as an interest group, representative body or member of the public.

Brookson, a contractor accountancy firm, is among those likely to respond, as it has already said that AS 2016 takes on extra importance in light of it being Mr Hammond’s first AS.

Meanwhile, the founder of another contractor accountancy firm reportedly said at the weekend that the government’s aim should be to make the tax system simpler.

Simon Dolan, who set up SJD Accountancy in 1992, told the Mail on Sunday: “I would introduce a flat rate of income tax at 18 per cent or 20 per cent above £10,000, and get rid of VAT, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax and the rest of the millions of different taxes there are.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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