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Private sector IR35 reform rumours are top concern
by Susie Hughes at 10:48 01/08/17 (News on IR35)
Rumours surrounding potential reform to private sector IR35 currently sit as UK contractor’s biggest concern, according to recent research.
Following April’s changes to IR35 in the public sector, murmurs now surrounding the future of IR35 in the private sector are having a negative impact on contractors.

A survey from tax adviser Qdos Contractor showed:

  • For 48 per cent of contractors, rumours surrounding private sector IR35 reform are their number one business concern
  • 18 per cent of contractors are most concerned by competition for contracts
  • 17 per cent are most worried by the lack of support for the self-employed
  • 10 per cent are still feeling most concerned by recent public sector IR35 reform
  • seven per cent listed ‘other concerns’, which included Brexit, declining rates and issues surrounding scaling up as a business

While the largest group of contractors (36 per cent) revealed they would not be deterred from working independently should private sector reform rumours be confirmed;

  • 33 per cent would consider employment
  • 19 per cent would consider a different career to contracting
  • 12 per cent would consider alternative options, including emigrating to contract overseas, or early retirement.

Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley said: “While murmurs surrounding any changes to private sector IR35 remain rumours at this stage, we urge the Government to learn from previous mistakes and quickly end any confusion and uncertainty on the matter. One third of contractors surveyed revealed they would consider employment if private sector IR35 reform is enforced. This sends a clear, strong signal to Government that reform to private sector IR35 should be avoided.

“Economically and socially speaking, freelancers and contractors are vital to the UK. They should not be left in the dark. Recent changes to public sector IR35 caused panic among contractors, public sector engagers and agencies. And while the dust has somewhat settled as hirers begin to get to grips with reform, a repeat performance in the private sector would not be wise.

“It does however speak volumes of UK contracting that the largest proportion of contractors would continue working this way regardless of any potential changes to private sector IR35. The vast majority of the UK’s independent workforce choose to work this way for the freedom and control it brings, rather than any tax advantages.”

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2017

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