Categorized | alan's blog, ir35 rules

IR35 – Bring on the Jonahs…

IR35 – Bring on the Jonahs…

You would have thought that following last week’s news about the possible replacement (or even repeal) of IR35 that there would be signs of general celebration. But nope, not a bit of it. Quite the opposite in fact.

On one side we have a people saying that it’s only promising a review at some point, so clearly this is just another HMG stitch-up. There’s another group saying it will simply metamorphose into a version of the Construction Industry Scheme, making you an employee unless you supply your own paper tape or something. There’s another group saying that actually IR35 isn’t such a bad thing, it has its uses and we shouldn’t be surprised to see it left unchanged.

I also read one comment that PCG weren’t actually representing freelance workers at all and their work was actively damaging the “real freelances” best interest. Sorry? Didn’t quite follow that argument myself.

Really fills you with joy, doesn’t it…

One thing I have noticed though is that a lot of this negative comment is from people whose business is largely built on the existence of IR35. Fair enough, they’re looking at the business disappearing, but that’s the nature of business, after all. Still, let’s hope they’re simple bemoaning the threat to their business and not trying to persuade HMG to keep IR35 alive so they can keep earning rather than servicing their customers.

So it looks to me like the real advice is perhaps not to believe all you read until you know what the author does for a living.

There’s another group who are predicting the instant demise of PCG if IR35 goes. What they haven’t realised is that IR35 is only a small part of the freelance landscape. OK, it’s a pretty serious one, but even so, some of the plans coming out of Brussels make IR35 look positively benign. There will be a serious role for PCG for a while to come yet.

Finally there’s muttering about the promised Office of Tax Simplification being rigged. Looking at the way these things used to work that’s not a bad conclusion, except it seems that this one will be staffed with genuinely non-political experts with a wide-ranging brief. Certainly the one potential member I know of cannot possibly be accused of being pro-HMRC in any way, shape or form. Or pro-IR35 come to that!

Still, it hasn’t even been formed yet, much less done anything. I think I’ll be keeping up my insurances and being careful to read the contract small print to keep me clear of IR35 for a little while yet. Although hopefully, not too long a while…

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Image: J. Jonah Jameson by OntologicalDoubt

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