‘Government was aware of IR35 risks’.

Branding the hated tax measure as ‘misconceived’, Gerald Barling QC, representing the Professional Contractors Group, said that from the outset the government foresaw that most of an estimated 90,000 affected companies would close down.

He said: ‘The effect of IR35 is to seriously disadvantage the affected companies in relation to their competitors to the extent, in fact, of forcing many small contracting businesses to wind up or leave the country.’

The PCG claims IR35 breaches the European Convention on Human Rights because it unfairly discriminates against small businesses. The hearing began on Tuesday and was expected to last until today, with a ruling coming as soon as next week.

For up-to-date reports of the court case visit

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