An investigation by Monitor, the body that regulates health services in England, has found that 86 executives working at NHS foundation trusts could face an investigation over their use of Personal Service Companies (PSCs).
The officials in question reportedly failed to give the necessary assurances that they were paying the correct rates of employment tax. (See also: Contractor 'witch hunt' threatens success of NHS projects - May 2014)
The 'off-payroll' row came to light after media reports that senior public sector worker, such as head of Student Loans Company Ed Lester, and many BBC and NHS workers, were operating through their own companies to mitigate their tax and NIC liabilities.
As a result, as in what some thought was a knee-jerk response, Government departments were told to tidy up their acts with regard to how they contract with freelancers.
Mairi Bowen, compliance manager at ClearSky Contractor Accounting, who reported the increase in IR35 reviews, said: “National media coverage of Monitor’s findings seems to have jolted many public-sector contractors into action.
“We’re at the point of the year when a lot of assignments in the public sphere are reaching the six-month point.
“Contractors in this situation, who earn more than £220 a day and work at a non-board level, should be looking to provide assurances to the Government department or public body that is engaging them.
“Failure to do so could see the contractor being investigated by HMRC or having their assignment terminated.”
"Growing awareness of the new rules, which is thanks in part to the high-profile cases highlighted by Monitor earlier this month, means more and more contractors are being pro-active and this willingness to get on the front foot shows that public-sector contractors are getting to grips with the new rules, and are willing to do what’s necessary to protect themselves.”
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2014