Government launches review of freelance tax changes

Grant Prior 4 years ago
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The government has launched a review of freelance tax rule changes due to come into force in April.

Looming changes to IR35 rules are causing widespread concern in construction.

HMRC rules are due to change from April 6 making contractors liable for determining the tax status of off-payroll professionals.

Major contractors have been auditing freelancers employed via personal service companies as thousands of professionals are braced for a move back to PAYE.

The government is now calling for evidence from affected individuals and businesses to ensure “smooth implementation of the reforms.”

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman 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.”

Current rules allow workers to be employed via a personal service company (PSC) which determines whether IR35 tax rules should apply.

That responsibility is due to shift from April to contractors who will determine employment status.

Freelance workers fear they will lose out through higher tax payments while contractors will also face bigger bills from direct employment.

The government is also reviewing its Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool which has attracted widespread criticism.

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