IR35 improvements are still needed as trade body calls for offset

The Match Of The Day host was told by the taxman he should have been classed as an employee of the BBC and BT Sport for his presenting duties

With IR35 in the news again as celebrities including Gary Lineker and Eamon Holmes faced the outcome of their own legal battles, a leading trade body has reiterated its calls for changes to Off Payroll rules, including the need to introduce an offset mechanism to ensure double taxation isn’t unfairly impacting staffing firms.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo – a member of the HMRC Intermediaries and Employment Forum – comments: “APSCo has long been vocal over the reforms that are needed to ensure Off Payroll legislation doesn’t unfairly penalise both recruitment firms and highly skilled contractors. We continue to work closely with HMRC on changes to the rules including potential solutions to the double taxation that is inherent in the current rules. In its current form, Off Payroll legislates that HMRC can collect tax from the worker via corporation and personal taxes, and then recover full PAYE and NICs from the fee payer in the event of a reclassification. This is leading to recruiters and clients being unfairly taxed.

“While we anticipate news on a possible consultation om this matter will be unveiled in Spring, we stand by our view that Off Payroll itself is having a detrimental impact on the UK’s flexible labour market. Off Payroll has exacerbated the shortage of skilled professionals, as many left the market during or following the roll out of the rules, not wanting to change the way they work. This has consequently decreased the flexibility and agility of the labour supply chain at a time when skills are in increasingly short supply.

“We believe wider reforms are needed and will continue to work closely with HMRC to guide any future developments on behalf of the staffing sector.”

Whilst the cases against Gary Lineker and Eamon Holmes make national news there is an estimated a thousand similar cases being investigated by HMRC at any one time.