In The News

Coronavirus and IR35

Article Date: 18 March 2020

The Government has announced a last-minute postponement to the implementation of the Off-Payroll Tax to the private sector in light of the recent Covid-19 outbreak, with the legislation now due to be reintroduced in April 2021.

The decision was taken following significant pressure from contractors and others who warned that the inevitable loss of work due to the virus.

It was announced as a deferral and not a cancellation, with the Government adding that it remains committed to reintroducing this policy to ensure people working like employees but through their own limited company pay broadly the same amount of tax as those employed directly.”

Some commentators added that the announcement presents significant scope for greater consideration of the ill-considered measures, and further discussion over the alignment of employment status for tax and employment rights purposes.

Other commentators argue that notwithstanding the Coronavirus impact, many businesses were not prepared for IR35 implementation on 6 April. Specifically, up to 50% of businesses were not confident in making status determinations, many have not taken any steps so far whatsoever to prepare for these changes, and some do not know how many individuals they are currently engaging through an intermediary, according to an HMRC webinar straw poll collected last month.

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