This spring will be the tenth anniversary of IR35 which represents a budgetary press release. The purpose of IR35 is to prevent people from using things like personal services companies as a way to avoid paying their National Insurance Contributions. When freelance contractors first heard about IR35, many of them expressed outrage in regard to the measure.
As a result of the chaos that IR35 produced, a lobbying group called ‘Professional Contractors Group’ was created. John Brazier, Managing Director of PCG has spoken about the challenges that contractors face in terms of dealing with the rules that correspond to IR35.
Brazier said “More and more it seems that the way one operates on the ground is an issue. You might have a very good contract which ticks all the right boxes in terms of putting your status outside of the remit of IR35, but if the operating procedure is different once you’re working directly with the client, you have to be careful.”
Brazier noted that IR35 was not going to disappear and that it was important for contractors to learn how to work with the measure. He also said that he felt like the contracting industry was sometimes overlooked by the government and not necessarily treated as fairly as other industries.
It is also possible that as the economy continues to worsen and jobs disappear, more people will turn to contracting. Time will tell what kind of impact this might have on the contracting industry during the year ahead.