The government has moderated the amount of record keeping information it will require from employment intermediaries such as agencies and Umbrella Companies.

The regulations follow last year’s onshore intermediaries’ legislation and require intermediaries to provide HMRC with the personal details of all ‘workers’ they supply to clients where employment taxes are not deducted at source.

Recruitment firms will be required to report the personal details of all contractors employed through Umbrella Companies in new quarterly returns to the Revenue. Under the revised regulations the details will not be as broad as previously proposed and will no longer include payment details; however, identity details will remain obligatory.

The revisions have met with a muted welcome by several industry bodies. The freelancer and self-employed group IPSE acknowledged that the regulations had been tempered in the light of industry criticism and welcomed the dropping of personal details such as title, hours worked and passport number; however, the group’s senior public affairs manager, Andy Chamberlain, raised concerns that independent professionals who sub-contract work to others will be lumbered with an excessively onerous reporting burden.

APSCo representative Sam Hurley welcomed HMRC’s decision to listen to the strong response from her organisation’s members and reduce the reporting requirements for intermediaries. Many of the objections from APSCo members about the collection of highly sensitive personal information, including date of birth and gender, have been heeded by the tax authority.

Ms Hurley added: “While these changes are not all that we may have hoped for, we appreciate that HMRC has made significant changes – something we believe is a reasonable compromise and will benefit our members.”

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