HMRC letters to GSK contractors – confusion only set to get worse, says IPSE

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IPSE: “These letters are yet another example of the chaos caused by IR35. And this confusion is only set to get worse when the changes to IR35 are extended to the private sector next April.”

Many freelancers and contractors working for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)were left both confused and alarmed after receiving letters from HMRC concerning their IR35 status.

According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) this confusion around the letters is just a taste of things to come when the changes to IR35 are extended to the private sector in April 2020.

Alasdair Hutchison, Policy Development Manager at IPSE, explained, “These letters are yet another example of the chaos caused by IR35. And this confusion is only set to get worse when the changes to IR35 are extended to the private sector next April.

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“HMRC has lost six out of the last seven IR35 cases, and when it cannot interpret its own legislation, how can it possibly expect businesses across the UK to? This uncertainty adds a huge burden both to microbusinesses themselves and the companies that rely on them to drive innovation.

“The government urgently needs to pause and rethink this damaging legislation before it’s too late. The self-employed are one of the most productive and dynamic sectors of the UK economy. Instead of stifling freelancers with clumsy legislation, the government must develop a modern tax system that works for them – not a telegraph-era system in a digital age.”

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