November date for IR35 appeal

PCG spokeswoman Suzie Hughes told a date had not yet been confirmed, but said she expected the case to begin on either the 19 or 20 November, and run for three days.

‘We have been advised by our lawyers that we have a good case,’ Hughes said, reaffirming comments made by PCG chairman Jane Akshar after the first case went in the Inland Revenue’s favour in March. ‘This is a part of the law that has not yet been challenged.’

A victory for the PCG would mean an end to IR35 legislation, which came into place on 19 April 2001. However, if it fails, the group has not ‘put its eggs into one basket’ and has numerous other judicial routes to follow including the European Court of Justice.

The anti-IR35 campaigners decided to take their battle against the Inland Revenue to the Court of Appeal after an application to have the IR35 tax rules abolished was rejected by a judicial review in the High Court in March.

IR35 removes many of the tax advantages previously held by contractors operating through one-person companies. But the PCG says IR35 discriminates against larger businesses and is illegal under European law.

PCG chairman Jane Akshar said at the time: ‘Our members decided to fund an appeal against the High Court decision because we believe we have a good case and we want to fight for our right to run small businesses. These people are hard working businessmen and women whose businesses are being damaged and in some cases destroyed because of unfair treatment by the government.

‘IR35 treats these entrepreneurs as if they are employees for tax and NI purposes and therefore prevents them from competing on a level playing field with their larger competitors.’

A spokesman for the Revenue told it would ‘strongly contest the PCG’s appeal’.


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