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Taxman’s IR35 compliance teams ‘on target’ for this year

While this may not be good news for you or me if we’re facing a disguised employment investigation, HMRC says its compliance teams are on target for this year.

These new teams have been working overtime apparently to throw a spanner in the works of any contractor that ends up on the wrong side of an IR35 investigation, an expensive and time-consuming endeavour indeed even if cleared of any possible tax avoidance charges. Still, HMRC has been incredibly keen to leave no stone unturned in its crusade to squeeze every last bit of tax revenue from the British public, and in order to accomplish these goals its compliance teams are pushing hard to hit the target of 230 investigations before the end of this month in order to appease the Public Accounts Committee.

The target had, at one time, been even higher. However this was revised downwards much to the relief of freelancers wondering if the taxman was going to come gunning for them in some misguided attempt to stamp out instances of disguised employment, especially since the Business Entity Tests and other IR35 guidance that was updated last year was more or less useless for determining if you actually stood at risk for an investigation or not – and that while the guidance may have been updated the actual IR35 regulations itself remained completely unchanged.

If you ask me, HMRC needs to be spending time harassing smaller firms and contractors and instead go after huge multinationals that have been shirking their tax responsibilities from trading within the UK. I’m sure that disguised employment does indeed account for some tax avoidance every year, but you can’t possibly tell me that the literal billions that massive firms such as Amazon, Google, and Starbucks neglect to pay in taxes aren’t just a bit of a more high-profile case that we should be focusing on at this point?

Perhaps it’s a bit of a moot point considering how the Tories just love big business, but enough is enough in this case. The Government needs to stop anagonising small business owners and sole traders – especially since such firms and individuals are helping to drive the nation’s economic recovery – and start leaning heavily on multinationals that don’t pay their fair share of taxes!

Let’s be honest – IR35 can wait. Let’s pull some off the staff off these disguised employment compliance teams and get them working on pinning multinationals to the wall, shall we?

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