A prominent Treasury Minister has made it clear to the PCG (formerly known as the Professional Contractors Group) that he is committed to working with contractors and other freelancers to establish genuine improvements in the administration of IR35 rules.
David Gauke MP, who is Exchequer Secretary, described contractors and freelancers as a “significant and important part of the business community.” He acknowledged concerns amongst the contracting community about the willingness and ability of HMRC to make real improvements in its handling of IR35 cases but insisted that he believed the Revenue was genuinely committed to a complete overhaul of its present administration of the regulations.
Mr Gauke went on to express his commitment to getting the administration of IR35 right in order to ensure fairness in the tax system and to enable professional contractors “to provide their services in the most appropriate way.”
PCG Chairman Chris Bryce welcomed Mr. Gauke’s personal commitment to ameliorating the “major difficulties” faced by freelancers over IR35 over the last 11 years. He went on to say that the new IR35 Forum, which meets for the first time today (6th May), offers the prospect of making “a real difference to the uncertainty around IR35 and issues such as the unacceptable length of many IR35 investigations.
He reasserted the PCG’s determination to deliver “clarity, transparency, and consistency” for the freelance community, adding that his organisation takes the challenge very seriously: “We are determined to clean up HMRC’s administration of IR35 once and for all.”
Many freelance contractors, perhaps especially those working through limited companies, may be encouraged by these comments and commitments.