IR35 Special - IT contractors in Primarolo postal protest.
Contractors who have moved abroad to work as a result of IR35 have begun bombarding paymaster general Dawn Primarolo with postcards to inform the government how much better off they are, writes Gavin Hinks.
As Accountancy Age this week unearthed evidence that professionals are leaving the UK in droves to escape the IR35 tax burden, it emerged that Primarolo has been subjected to a postcard campaign from contractors who have moved abroad. Addressing the Commons, she called senders of the cards ‘silly’.
Susie Hughes, of the Professional Contractors Group, said: ‘This is a spontaneous gesture among contractors after Primarolo made the “silly” remark.’
Consultants have made the USA and the Netherlands among the most popular destinations for those fleeing IR35.
Richard Marriott, an IT contractor from Redditch, has signed an agreement to begin work in Bridgewater, New Jersey, from August.
He said: ‘I’ll have to leave my wife and family behind for months at a time. But I honestly don’t see – if you are subject to IR35 – how you can stay in business.’
Stuart Ranson, an IT consultant who began commuting to the Netherlands in January, said: ‘We’ve been called tax cheats. I pay more tax than most taxpayers so how can I be a tax cheat?’
Finance Bill, page 10
Leader, page 16
Forced to move, page 18
Primarolo fights back, page 18
Ministers under fire, page 21.