Taking Stock – Number 35 – unlucky for some.

Like the sword of truth, the manacles of notoriety are hard to shake off. Ask officials at Inland Revenue, where the fetters of IR35 are as strong today as when the move was announced in last year’s Budget speech. Among the many mysteries solved by the Budget was whether the Revenue would use the moniker IR35 for the thirty fifth press release in its Budget pack. They didn’t. And rather than skip from IR34 to IR36, the Revenue changed its entire numbering system to REV1 etc. TS wouldn’t suggest officials did it just to avoid creating a new IR35, but … Since IR35 was released last year, the Revenue has been plagued by problems over its attempts to reform personal service companies. Apparently 35 has now become as unpopular with superstitious officials as the number 13. In fact, the number may even be retired so no one is cursed with using it for their releases. One Revenue official said she could see no reason why the number 35 would not resurface. But removing IR35 from all future Budget packs would certainly put a few accountants’ minds at rest.

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