HMRC: Finally release new Employment Status tool.
The new public sector IR35 assessment rules come into effect on 6 April 2017 and contractors have been concerned that they are unable to confirm their IR35 status. HMRC has now released its long awaited online Employment Status Tool. The tool is available to contractors, engagers and agencies and asks users to choose answers that best match the usual working practices for each engagement. The results are not submitted to HMRC, but users are able to print and keep them.
There are concerns that the release of the Employment Status tool has been rushed by HMRC and some decisions may turn out to be wrong. However, HMRC say they will stand by the results as long as the questions have been answered accurately. Under the draft legislation, contractors do not appear to have any rights to appeal the public sector bodies decision, so this tool should be useful for all parties to ensure the right IR35 status conclusion is reached.
The Press have already reported large numbers of public sector contractors moving into the private sector due to the uncertainty of the new IR35 rules. With the Spring Budget on Wednesday, we wait to see if these rules are to be extended to the private sector, to create a level playing field and stop this mass migration of workers.
Contact us if you require assistance in strengthening your contractual terms and actual work practices, to make sure you continue to fall outside of the IR35 legislation:
Blog entry by: Vanessa Pearson.