PracticeConsultingTreasury minister embroiled in IR35 conflict row

Treasury minister embroiled in IR35 conflict row

Financial secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms has become involved in an embarrassing conflict of interest row over his continued ownership of shares in IT company Ovum Ltd and his department's introduction of the new IR35 tax regime.

Timms chose to transfer his 3.7% holding to an arms-length trust ten months ago when he was working at the Department of Social Security, according to reports in this morning’s The Times.

The paper said that yesterday, however, despite being told to move the shares ten months ago they were still held in his name.

The Treasury’s controversial IR35 legislation is seen as favouring larger IT consultancies such as Ovum, which could enjoy a competitive edge over their smaller rivals. Smaller consultancies may be threatened by the new tax regime because the changes will bring many individuals into the PAYE system.

A Treasury spokesman issued a statement claiming that the transfer was now well-advanced and that Timms did not have any direct responsibility for IR35.

The Treasury

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