Security officers called for IR35 debate

Sarah Walker, head of the Inland Revenue’s IR35 team, spoke at the meeting organised by the London Society of Chartered Accountants and attended by around 200 members and contractors. Concerns also arose after threatening comments, made before Monday’s event, were posted during an online debate about IR35.

During the evening, designed to offer advice for dealing with the controversial tax measure, Walker told assembled contractors and accountants that there was no sign consultants were leaving the country as a result of financial pressures caused by IR35.

‘I hear, like everybody else anecdotal evidence of people going abroad. But I don’t think government has seen evidence as yet of a significant number of people going abroad.’

Walker also defended IR35 rules saying she did not think the tax proposals were too complex and said help was available.

‘The Revenue is willing to help and listen to contractors who are unsure about whether their contracts fall within or outside of IR35.

‘If you are in IR35 and can’t calculate the tax on time then we will listen to what you say. We have already said that we will accept by 19 April after the tax year-end an estimated payment of tax and NIC due on end of year deemed payments. The estimate does not need to be absolutely accurate,’ she added.

The English ICA’s Tax Faculty’s Francesca Largerberg, a fierce critic of IR35, said the unfortunate thing about IR35 was its implementation.

‘There are two basic problems’, she said. ‘The political ones are insoluble and the economic ones are incomprehensible.

But despite the expectations of officials at LSCA the evening was subdued.

On Monday the Professional Contractor’s Group will attempt to get leave to seek a Judicial Review of IR35.

Links IR35 resource centre

Professional Contractors Group

English ICA Tax Faculty

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