The IR35 Forum, set up to improve HMRC’s handling of IR35 regulations, met for the first time on May 6th, an event which has been welcomed by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
Many amongst the UK’s contractor workforce wish to see a drastic reduction in the number of IR35 cases investigated by HMRC, despite the Chancellor’s decision to retain the controversial legislation in his March Budget. The REC, which had been closely involved in the Office of Tax Simplification’s review of small business taxation, was instrumental in setting up the new Forum. Along with several other specialists representing the interests of the UK’s contractor community, the REC will be participating actively in the Forum to improve HMRC’s administration of the regulations.
Commenting on the inaugural meeting, the REC’s head of Policy, Gillian Econopouly said that she was pleased that the IR35 Forum is now “up and running,” adding that the REC has been asked to contribute, “placing the views of the recruitment industry at the heart of these reforms.” She went on to say that ministerial support for the new body was “reassuring” and added that the task was now to “come up with practical solutions for improving how the IR35 rules are administered on the ground.”
Ms Econopouly made it clear that she and many others would have preferred to see “a more drastic reform of IR35” but insisted that the new Forum genuinely provides an opportunity for real improvements. The REC, she continued, is committed to working with the Forum to improve the system and “establish more certainty for contractors, their hirers, and the recruiters that find work for them.”