Treasury to publish draft IR35 legislation on July 11th

Contractors are joining IR35 advisers in marking July 11th on their calendars – the date which draft legislation to implement ‘Off-Payroll Working in the Private Sector’ is to be published.

Speaking on Wednesday, Treasury minister Jesse Norman said draft clauses for the bill, with explanatory notes and the consultation response, would be unveiled then -- two weeks today.

“With the draft legislation due to arrive in a matter of weeks, at this stage in the game, a delay or even a U-turn seems unlikely,” says Seb Maley of status advisory Qdos Contractor.

“[Either action] would be the right thing to do, but given the release of the draft legislation will come fairly soon after the closing of the IR35 consultation, you are left to wonder whether HMRC has taken into consideration any of the responses”.

Roger Sinclair, consultant at Egos, confirms that the government’s “view” of the new IR35 framework which affected parties last had a say on at the end of May, is to be firmed up.

“Too much has been fluid up to this point,” the legal adviser says. “This will represent the first real opportunity we will have to get to grips with the detail of exactly how the government intends to implement round two of chapter 10 -- IR35 in the private sector from April 2020.”

But the appointment of a new prime minister and, in turn, a new cabinet, including a new chancellor, still offers “an opportunity to call a halt to it all”, points out Bauer & Cottrell.

“That said, the July 11th date is in my diary, as they will have been working on the draft bill for months now,” says the IR35 advisory’s co-founder Kate Cottrell.

“So at least if it’s in the draft, we will know how they propose it is going to work, which will be helpful and at least we can all make some sort of informed decisions.”

Mr Sinclair agrees: “As an adviser, I keep getting asked questions about the legislation, and repeatedly have had to say that I cannot answer until I am actually able to read it. 

“It will of course only be draft, and may be amended in the course of its passage through the legislative process.  

“Round one of chapter 10 had some few minor changes between introduction and the final stage of royal assent. But this draft legislation will give the detail of the government’s settled intent, and at least we can get down to detailed planning on how to handle it.”

Qdos also believes it is very much a case of the government moving forward; not looking back.

“Political uncertainty -- in the shape of Brexit and the race to be the next prime minister -- doesn’t seem to have delayed the government, that is evidently keen to press ahead with further IR35 reform.”

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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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