IR35 Twitter Chat

On Tuesday 11 October IPSE held a Twitter chat to discuss the Government’s controversial proposal to change how contractors are taxed in the public sector.

Using the hashtag #UnfairIR35, Twitter users were encouraged to ask our expert panellists, @SimonMcVicker, IPSE Policy Director, @AndyIPSE, IPSE Deputy Director of Policy, and @JLMarshall90, IPSE Policy Development Manager any questions they have over the new IR35 reform.

The @teamIPSE Twitter handle moderated the discussion, and provided a series of questions to stimulate debate.

Employee rights

The issue of how the proposal will affect employee rights took centre stage, with many having concern over being taxed as an employee, but not receiving employee rights that go with it. @teamIPSE was the first to raise the question:

“If caught by the new rules, will contractors demand employment rights? #UnfairIR35”

“I don't want to be an employee. I want to be free to do what I do best. But tax me as an employee, what rights to I get? #UnfairIR35” tweeted back ‏@oraclematt.

‏@PhilipRossLGC said: “Contractors (indie professionals) may not desire or request rights but others working lower down in public sector may do #UnfairIR35”.

The FCSA’s Chief Executive, @JuliaKermode, then tweeted: “Challenges likely esp from unions - if taxed as employed should have same rights - MPs support this argument #UnfairIR35…”

The Online Tool

As the chat gathered pace, the much maligned online tool became a topic of fierce debate. This tool is so key to the Government’s argument that the changes are just and fair.

Accountancy provider, @IntouchAcc chimed in: “…. How can an online tool replace their current system? We believe it's doomed to fail #UnfairIR35”.

IT consultants @Camnomis agreed: “@teamIPSE no one tool can work when so much is based on case law that is yet to be tested #UnfairIR35”

Brexit distractions

Others believe with the furore over Brexit dominating the political agenda, it’s best to drop the proposal:

‏@netwkfreelance, an online platform for freelancers, said: “Bad timing would be a great excuse for @HMRCgovuk to scrap these plans - #Brexit is too much of a distraction etc. - #UnfairIR35”

@p_h said: “Yes, at least sell their services abroad. Again it will reduce the tax take to HMRC. #UnfairIR35”

The cost to government

The cost of the proposal to government and taxpayers, which IPSE has long warned on, was raised by @ACCATaxation, the world’s leading body for professional accountants:  

“We're worried it'll push up costs for taxpayers - public bodies won't contract direct with SMEs; extra layers of cost”

And @JuliaKermode: “Predict many appeals, esp if all deemed caught, massive cost to @HMRCgovuk @oraclematt #UnfairIR35”

So what happens next?

The consensus throughout the chat was overwhelming – everyone disagrees with this proposal. But will the Government listen?

@AndyIPSE: “IPSE has called for the proposal to be abandoned though Govt says it is still pushing ahead. We'll know more at Autumn Statement #UnfairIR35”

@SimonMcVicker: “danger is that is there is a big exodus from the public sector it will force Govt. to introduce this to the private sector!”

As Autumn Statement approaches, we encourage all that will or could be affected to get in contact with their local MP and leave this Government in no doubt of how damaging the reform will be.

Keep checking #UnfairIR35 over the coming days for updates and if you’d like to read through the chat, as we gear up for our IR35 webinar on 1 November.

Take a stand with IPSE, and let’s ensure the government abandons this proposal. 


Tax, Policy, ir35

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