TaxPersonal TaxLandmark battle over IR35 gets going

Landmark battle over IR35 gets going

A former policeman has begun his High Court battle with the Inland Revenue over the controversial tax law, IR35, with the backing of the Professional Contractors' Group.

Link: Trace the IR35 saga

Gordon Stutchbury, 42, from East Bolton, near Sunderland, began his appeal yesterday, in an attempt to overturn a Inland Revenue ruling that he must pay more tax under IR35.

Tax commissioners have made this decision based on their belief that Stutchbury was a ‘disguised employee’ of IT consultants EDS at the time (in 2000), despite the fact that he set up his own IT consultancy called Synaptek, and employed up to four people.

Stutchbury has paid all the tax demanded, but is appealing on the grounds that the government made assurances ‘that genuine businesses would not be affected by IR35’.

The case is the first to be brought against the Inland Revenue by an individual.

Stutchbury has the backing of the PCG, dogged campaigners against IR35 whose efforts to get the tax law scrapped ended in failure last year after numerous court cases and appeals. The PCG has, however, vowed to support members in selected cases.

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