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Most public sector contractors pass independent IR35 tests
by Susie Hughes at 12:38 13/09/17 (News on IR35)
The vast majority of public sector contractors are passing the IR35 status tests of one of the contractor tax advisors.
Qdos Contractor has revealed that since April, the month of public sector IR35 reform, 89 per cent of public sector contractors have passed its rigorous, detailed status assessment and in their opinion, sit outside IR35.

In the lead up to April's IR35 changes, in the months of January, February and March of this year, 90 per cent of public sector contractors assessed passed the tests.

Qdos have carried out several thousand assessments on behalf of public sector bodies and agencies, regarding the employment status of their contingent workforce.

Such marginal change in pass-rate since reform was enforced suggests that working on public sector projects outside of IR35 is indeed possible.

Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO said: “With the right approach, there’s no doubt that reform can in fact be managed, as reflected in the marginal difference in public sector IR35 results pre and post reform.

"That there has only been a one per cent drop in pass-rate since changes were enforced just goes to show that it is entirely possible to work on public sector contracts and outside of IR35.

“Given that the responsibility of setting IR35 status now lies with the public sector client, the challenge lies in making sure clients and agencies are making well-informed, accurate IR35 decisions, and not simply placing their contractors inside IR35 to protect their liability.

"This would be shortsighted, and simply deter contractors from working with public sector bodies, jeopardising vital organisations and projects.

“Public sector companies and agencies must prioritise the quality of IR35 reviews over speed and quantity. Assessments should be rigorous, detailed, made on a case-by-case basis and involve all parties to ensure that accurate decisions are being made. This would pave the way for the continued use of contractors in the public sector.”

Many of the contract reviews are carried out on contractors working in IT and Technology roles, as Maley explained: “The majority of the reviews we have carried out have been for contractors working in IT and Technology, which contributes to a higher pass-rate compared to say, locum nurses working on NHS contracts.

"These will typically fall inside IR35 given the inherent level of supervision, direction and control, which will vary significantly to that of an IT contractor.”

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2017

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