Following the Autumn Statement, HMRC produced a short guide for small businesses, particuarly relating to tax issues, which pointed to further online information. (See: AS2013 (3): HMRC's tax guide - but no mention of IR35 - Dec, 2013, Shout99).
Despite repeated calls from the IR35 Forum and others for more information about IR35, the contractors' tax was conspicuous by its absence. This led to speculation about whether IR35 was still a priority for the Government or whether the freelancer business model was really considered a small business.
When we queried it with HMRC, it was confirmed that IR35 is still very much a live issue and that plans are underway for improved information and guidance.
An HMRC spokesman told Shout99: "Our recent publication 'Supporting Small Business' aims to capture a broad view of what we are doing for small businesses, but focuses primarily (as set out in the foreword) on following up the commitments made in our Budget 2012 publication 'Making tax easier, quicker and simpler for small business' (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/sme-4756.pdf ).
"As part of the migration of HMRC's online guidance to GOV.UK (www.gov.uk), we are reviewing how IR35 guidance and tools meet user needs, and will be making improvements where necessary. Meanwhile, HMRC has a dedicated online area for IR35 information and news, at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ir35/pressreleases.htm.
"We remain keen to take appropriate opportunities to publicise IR35. We appreciate your feedback about this document and will consider adding IR35 to any future publications for SMEs."
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2013