Understanding the UK Government's legislative reform for the freelance sector.

EFFECTIVE APRIL 2021

HM Treasury responds to petition to delay IR35

A recent petition to delay IR35 legislation until COVID-19 is resolved has gathered over 10,000 signatures. By the UK Government's petition guidelines, this has triggered an official response from HM Treasury:  

"The Government has already delayed this reform until April 2021 in response to the COVID-19 crisis. However, there will not be a further delay. The legislation has now received Royal Assent, and the reform will be implemented in April 2021 as announced.

Further delaying implementation of these changes would also have other very significant drawbacks. Non-compliance with the off-payroll working rules outside the public sector is expected to cost £1.3 billion per year by 2023/24 if not addressed. As well as the fiscal cost, delay would prolong the fundamental unfairness of taxing two people differently for the same work. Further delay would also extend the disparity between the private and voluntary sectors, and the public sector, where the reform has been in place since 2017."

Read the full response from the UK Petitions website

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On 17th March, 2020, Chief treasury secretary Steve Barclay announced that due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the scheduled IR35 tax reforms would be pushed back by one year. The legislation will now come into effect April, 2021.

The UK government broadening its IR35 legalisation to include private sector is the biggest shift in the freelancer/contractor industry for some time. It effects both how organisations approach the hiring of contingent labour, and, at its simplest, how freelancers are paid.

In order for your organisation to manage the upcoming changes, all businesses need to find partners who are best equipped to assess and manage contingent labour under the new legislation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is IR35?
What makes someone a ‘disguised employee’?
What changes are coming?
Will IR35 be delayed again?
What do these changes mean for your businesses and freelance contractors?
Are there any exemptions for IR35 regulations?
What are the risks for non-compliance?