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Contractors excluded from IR35 decision-making process
by Susie Hughes at 11:28 16/08/17 (News on IR35)
The majority of contractors do not believe public sector bodies and agencies are able to make accurate IR35 decisions without their input.
And there are concerns that the prospect of a contractor exodus from the public sector is still a reality.

Recent changes to public sector IR35 decisions, handed public sector clients and agencies the responsibility for determining employment status - a move which has seen many end engagers use HMRC’s online ESS Tool to set the employment status of their contractor workforce.

HMRC’s ESS Tool is built for the use of public sector engagers and agencies, and does not require input from the contractor.

Recent research by contractor tax adviser, Qdos Contractor, shows:

  • 88 per cent of contractors do not believe accurate IR35 decisions can be made without their involvement in the process;
  • 12 per cent are confident public sector clients and agencies can set make accurate IR35 determinations without their help.

Helpless
Seb Maley, CEO of Qdos Contractor, said: “The decision to hand public sector clients and agencies the responsibility for setting contractor’s IR35 status has understandably left the vast majority of contractors feeling helpless.

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"It is now up to largely inexperienced public sector clients and agencies to make potentially career-defining IR35 decisions. But how can one make a well-informed, accurate decision on a contractor’s employment status without consulting what is undoubtedly the most vital component, the contractor?

“Given that such vast numbers of contractors are willing to exit the public sector if they are placed inside IR35, mistakes will be costly. Prior to reform, 85 per cent of contractors revealed they would stop working on public sector contracts should they be placed inside IR35.

"Put simply, the prospect of a public sector contractor exodus is still very real. Public sector bodies, nor the public sector itself can afford to make mistakes.

“We urge public sector bodies and agencies to listen to the concerns of the contractors they engage, and begin making IR35 assessments collaboratively. To make accurate IR35 decisions on a large scale, it’s essential that contractors play their part. They are after all, the subject in question.”


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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2017

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