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Government launches 'off-payroll review'
by Susie Hughes at 12:29 08/01/20 (News on IR35)
The Government has launched a review into the implementation of changes to the IR35 off-payroll working rules - but industry reaction was a case of too little, too late.
The Government claims that it will gather evidence from affected individuals and businesses 'to ensure smooth implementation of the reforms' and address any concerns from businesses and affected individuals about how they will be implemented.

The wording clearly shows that the intent is to continue with the proposed changes in April. Many had hoped that election promises would lead to a postponement or a review of the policy - rather than a review to 'ensure smooth implementation'.

The Government said that 'the review will determine if any further steps can be taken to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of the reforms, which are due to come into force in April 2020. As part of this, the review will also assess whether any additional support is needed to ensure that the self-employed, who are not in scope of the rules, are not impacted.'

The Government will also launch a separate review to explore how it can better support the self-employed. That includes improving access to finance and credit, making the tax system easier to navigate, and examining how better broadband can boost homeworking.

The announcement fulfils a commitment made by Chancellor Sajid Javid during the election campaign.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said: "We recognise that concerns have been raised about the forthcoming reforms to the off-payroll working rules.

"The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible."

The review, which will conclude by mid-February, will engage with affected individuals and businesses on their experiences of the implementation of these reforms.

As part of the review, the Government will hold a series of roundtables with stakeholders representative of those affected by the reform, including contractor groups and medium and large-sized businesses, to understand how the Government can ensure smooth implementation of the reforms.

The Government will also carry out further internal analysis, including evaluation of the much-criticised 'Check Employment Status for Tax' (CEST) tool and public sector bodies’ experience of implementing the reform to the off-payroll working rules which were introduced in the public sector in 2017.

Further IR35 information
For more information about all aspects of IR35, including the controversial IR35 reforms see Shout99's News on IR35 section.

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2020

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