What an IR35 Forum member makes of December’s meeting

The external IR35 Forum members have done their best, so far, to publically raise all the issues affecting the public sector, writes IR35 expert and Bauer & Cottrell co-founder Kate Cottrell, a member of the forum since its inception in 2011.

We have called for a delay in order to ‘wait and see’ the results of a full tax year of the April 2017 reforms, which would include seeing how many IR35 status disputes arise at SA time in January 2019. But the “immediate Exchequer risk” prevails, so it is now full steam ahead to the consultation.

Huge missed opportunity

The consultation on the roll-out of the April 2017 off-payroll rules to the private sector takes precedence over any consultation issued following the Taylor review, which is viewed, as looking at the “long-term”. It is really disappointing that the numerous calls for a joined-up approach to tax status; IR35, the gig economy and the associated employment rights has fallen, once again on deaf ears.

IR35 Forum reconstituted

With immediate effect the IR35 Forum is to become part of the EPG (Employers Payroll Group). External membership will be exclusively drawn from professional and representative bodies with just one member per organisation. I and some others will no longer be participating. There is no point in attending an IR35 Forum meeting if, as some have claimed; the result is nothing more than a communication channel for HMRC.

It’s time to act

No doubt there are many in the private sector (who are not represented by trade bodies or professional bodies) that have never heard of the off-payroll rules or IR35. There is no time to lose in alerting all in the private sector to these proposals and of course to respond to the consultation, when it is published. This will be the last chance to be heard. I urge all to take part.

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