Will review of IR35 actually lead to change?

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Parties promise to review IR35 fuels 'chaotic nature' of legislation

The Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP) have all stated they would review IR35 which may just add to the “chaotic nature of the private sector roll-out.”

This is the opinion of Brookson Legal, the only regulation law firm that focuses on IR35. Matt Fryer, group compliance director at Brookson Legal, believes that these announcements do not mean the changes will be scrapped and that businesses should continue to prepare for April 2020.

Mr Fryer said:

With each of the main political parties now pledging to review IR35, the roll-out of the tax changes into the private sector could hardly have been more chaotic. The latest announcements from Labour and the Conservatives only add to the uncertainty for contractors and businesses, many of whom have already invested considerably in preparations for April 2020.

Still, an IR35 review is unlikely to result in an abandonment of the policy altogether given the £1.3 billion of additional tax which the Treasury believe this policy could generate. Businesses would be foolish to halt their preparations now and a contractor workforce audit is still incredibly valuable. There is also a role for recruitment businesses to play in advising both end hirers and contractors on the best course of action at this stage. IR35 is a complex piece of legislation and this continued uncertainty adds to the confusion. Clear communication is a priority for those who are likely to be most affected.

Recently Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer said he would like to review IR35 on BBC Radio 4 programme Money Box.

Mr Javid said:

One thing in particular that I want to look at again are the proposed changes to IR35. I want to make sure the proposed changes are right to take forwardI think it makes sense to include the proposed IR35 changes in that review.

The Liberal Democrats were the first main political party to announce it would review IR35 on the 20/11/19.

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