Anti-IR35 campaigners pleasure at being granted the opportunity to fight again at the Appeal Court has been tempered by concerns over funding and a quandary over the timing. If it were to pursue the case, it would probably cost as much as its High Court battle in March. In this event, the PCG would need its members to bankroll the effort.
Moreover, the PCG case would be unlikely to come to the Appeal Court before November of this year. The group has now had its first meeting with the Inland Revenue to discuss the controversial legislation and hopes to meet again following the election.
But ultimately, a spokesperson said, it would be up to the PCG’s members whether or not they wished to continue.
‘Our options are open,’ said the spokesperson. ‘Any decision would be dependent upon our members.’
‘There are a number of issues to consider – one of which is funding,’ she said.
Lord Justice Burton ruled in April that IR35 could not be challenged on grounds of European law. The decision was a milestone in the Inland Revenue’s battle to keep the controversial rules, which were introduced to remove tax advantages previously held by contractors operating through personal services companies.
Although the group lost, it was hoped criticism from the judge would prompt the Revenue to alter the rules by which IR35 is governed. And in recent weeks, the government’s line on IR35 appears to have softened. Last week e-minister Patricia Hewitt was reported as saying the original proposals were ‘cumbersome’.
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