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PCG removes IR35 enquiry amidst accusations of false claims

One major trade body has changed its tune suddenly on what very well could be false claims of upwards of 2,000 IR35 enquiries made by the taxman since May.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs took issue with a claim made by the Professional Contractors Group recently that it had launched thousands of ‘disguised employment’ probes over the past seven months. The taxman unequivocally refuted the PCG’s claims, which HMRC called false, and now the trade body has since seemingly changed its tune in the face of criticism by eliminating any references to their original claim.

However, the damage may have already been done, as while the PCG may have eliminated the claim from its website, it was initially sent out to trade body members. Some 20,000 PCG members have already received the supposedly erroneous information at this point, based on membership level estimates.

The PCG newsletter urged contractors to take out IR35 insurance policies from Abbey Tax, an affiliate of the trade industry body, as the number of IR35 investigations were set to increase by a ‘hundred-fold,’ leading to the 2,000 enquiry figure. If this is indeed an instance of misinforming its membership in an effort to drive insurance policy sales, industry experts suspect PCG may soon be facing insurance mis-selling accusations similar to the PPI insurance mis-selling scandal that plagued so many financial service providers recently.

PCG has declined to comment in any way, shape, or form on the IR35 enquiry claim, even when given opportunities to do so by the press.

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