Previous expectations that IR35 would be scrapped under a Conservative Government were called into question last week when a spokesperson for the party confirmed that this may not be a viable option. Alongside this revelation, PCG who have long been one of the fiercest critics of this tax rule, appear to be softening their position.
PCG have always been clear that they wish IR35 to be repealed and have strenuously campaigned to this effect. However, just last week they said that they want the rule to be scrapped or “radically simplified”. There have also been media reports to suggest that PCG are actually working on IR35 related proposals for the Conservative Government.
Questioned about this by Contractor UK, a PCG spokesperson said: “”On the issue of IR35, PCG continues its long-standing quest to find a way to correct the unfairness inherent in this piece of legislation. As part of that process we continue to engage with all the main parties at Westminster. Obviously, this means discussions with the Conservatives as well as the Government and the Liberal Democrats”.
The Conservative official who spoke about IR35 in an email response to an enquiry on the issue, stated: “Our aim would be to create a clearer, stable and lasting tax regime for the self-employed and small businesses. The IR35 tax rules are part of a wider problem surrounding the taxation of small businesses by this government. Since 1997, Gordon Brown has constantly tinkered with the tax treatment of the self-employed, husband and wife businesses and other similar small enterprises.
She concluded: “The result is the worst of worlds for the self employed: uncertainty, unnecessary risk and unfairness.”