HMRC has sent identical letters to contractors and claimed these workers have been wrongly operating outside of IR35. In the letter, HMRC states: “It is our view that the contract between your PSC and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) comes under the off-payroll working rules ‘IR35.’”
Guilty until proved innocent
Seb Maley, from freelancer tax specialists, Qdos, said: “In these letters, HMRC takes the view that contractors are guilty until proven innocent. This is yet another example of the taxman’s aggressive and unfair treatment of independent workers.
“At this stage, none of these contractors’ actual working practices have been reviewed. Without doing so, it’s impossible for HMRC to say with confidence that contractors are in the wrong.
“We urge contractors who have been contacted by HMRC to seek expert advice. The same goes for independent workers who are unsure of their IR35 compliance in general.
“As we approach IR35 reform, private sector firms must take note of HMRC’s behaviour and ensure they can confidently set IR35 status correctly when the rules change in April next year.”
The contractors have been given until September 19 to either agree with HMRC’s assessment and make a ‘deemed payment’ for their work at the pharmaceutical giant, or disagree and give their reasons.
This will add to the criticism of the new IR35 reforms which are targeting the private sector.
Further IR35 information
For more information about all aspects of IR35, including the controversial IR35 reforms see Shout99's News on IR35 section.
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2019