On 7 January 2020, the UK government launched a review of changes to off-payroll working rules, known as IR35, aiming to address the concerns being raised by both businesses and individuals.
IR35 was introduced in 2000, and require that individuals working like employees but through their own business pay similar taxes to equivalent employees in more straightforward arrangements. Reforms due to come in in April 2020 will require medium and large organisations in all sectors to take responsibility for assessing employment status, in the same way that public sector employers have since 2017.
The review, which will conclude in mid-February 2020, aims to determine whether further steps will be taken to ensure a smooth transition into implementing the reforms, which are due to come into effect on 6 April 2020; it will also assess whether additional support is needed to ensure that self-employed workers are not impacted.
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This review will engage with affected individuals and businesses, to gain a better understanding of the implementation of these reforms. The government plans to explore further steps to support businesses in determining employment status. Meanwhile, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will continue to help customers prepare for the reforms to IR35 through comprehensive programmes of education and support activities.
Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the treasury, said: “We recognise that concerns have been raised about the forthcoming reforms to the off-payroll working rules. The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible.”