HMRC asks for its IR35 contractor factsheet to be sent to contractors

The taxman will ask 45,000 firms to send its ‘Factsheet for Contractors’ to contractors -- 24 hours after ContractorUK reported that it had not been sent to a single contractor.

In a statement following the concern about its narrow distribution, HMRC said it would now contact businesses “directly” to “ask them to share the factsheet” with their PSCs.

Sent to ContractorUK yesterday, the Revenue's statement adds that the PDF will also be passed on to contractors via “organisations.” This implies that trade bodies may help circulate it too.

An HMRC spokesman emphasised that the factsheet is “just one element of the support” which the tax department is “offering to help people get ready for the reforms” from April 6th.

Last night, an accounting source was unimpressed. “While the article on ContractorUK perhaps prompted this, because you reported that the PDF was not being sent to contractors and now it is, it still isn't enough.

“Sending it out now is way too last-minute,” said the source, adding: “Plus, there’s issues around its content [as I agree that some of the advice within] just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.”

Sounding sympathetic, a services provider to PSCs asked of the factsheet: “Why send it out to 45,000 firms to pass on to contractors when it states that contractors don’t need to do anything until April?”

However, the Revenue said yesterday that “various measures” have been put in place to “help businesses and other organisations get the status of the contractors they engage right.”

The HMRC spokesman added: “We have dedicated teams providing education and support to all businesses, public bodies and charities affected. This is supported by the direct communications, workshops, guidance, online learning, roundtables and the Check Employment Status for Tax online tool.”

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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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