[UK] What Will The IR35 Review Tell Us?

During the election campaign, on the 30th of November 2019 Chancellor Sajid Javid said on the BBC Radio 4 Money Box show that he would look at the proposed IR35 changes, scheduled for April 2020.  These are changes that will see private sector engagers that are not small become responsible for assessing their workers to see if they fall within the scope of the reforms for tax, NI and apprenticeship levy. 

Mr Javid said: “I want to make sure that the proposed changes are right to take forward.

On the 7th of January 2020, Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury launched the review of changes to off-payroll working rules saying that the government “recognised” the concerns that had been raised and “The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible”.  The review will last until the middle of February 2020 and:

  • The Government will hold a series of roundtables with stakeholder representative of those affected
  • The Government will also carry out further internal analysis, including evaluation of the enhanced Check employment status for tax (CEST) tool 
  • HMRC will continue its comprehensive programme of education and support activities, proactively helping customers to prepare for the reform to off-payroll working rules in April 2020 

Global Payroll Association Comment

In double-quick time, the government have launched a review of something that is guaranteed to come in from April 2020, the obvious question to us is “what will this achieve?”  Industry has been equally sceptical with Andy Chamberlain, deputy director of policy at IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), saying “The review announced today is disappointingly hasty and inadequate.

Nevertheless, a review is what we have got, though we are more looking forward to industry experts Susan Ball, Steve Wade, Nick Phillips and Simon Parsons talking us through the reforms at our UK Summit on the 12th of March 2020.