The Professional Contractors Group (PCG) has submitted another Freedom of Information request to HMRC following an ex-government minister’s refusal to disclose data on IR35.
Last month, the then Treasury Minister, Kitty Ussher was asked by Labour MP Terry Rooney for information regarding how many IR35 investigations had been conducted over each of the past five years . He also asked her how many of these investigations had resulted in prosecution and how many had resulted in an increased tax bill.
In an unprecedented move, she refused to answer for fear of non-compliance. Her response was, “The intermediaries legislation, commonly known as ‘IR35′ was introduced with effect from 6 April 2000 to counter the avoidance of employed levels of tax and national insurance by individuals providing their services through intermediaries. Disclosure of HM Revenue and Customs’ compliance data relating to the legislation would result in a risk of non-compliance with the legislation. Accordingly I am not able to provide the date requested.”
Days after the question was asked of her, Ussher was sacked by Gordon Brown for her part in the MP expenses scandal.
The IR35 rule aims to tax contractors as employees. The PCG submitted a Freedom of Information request back in May which showed that IR35 was raising just £1.5 million per tax year. The PCG disclosed that of the 1,468 IR35 investigations that they have been involved in, only six have resulted in an the owing of additional tax.
The PCG have now asked the same question as Rooney under the Freedom of Information Act.