SNP commit to review the IR35 ‘Off-Payroll Tax’ in General Election manifesto

27 Nov 2019

In another major boost to the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax campaign, the Scottish National Party have committed to a review of the IR35 rule changes – the roll-out of the Off-Payroll Tax – in their manifesto, alongside reviewing the controversial Loan Charge.

The wording in the manifesto is “a review of the tax rules around intermediaries – known as the IR35 tax rule – and problems with implementation of the Loan Charge”.

The IR35 ‘off-payroll’ roll-out’ to the private sector is something that the Conservative Government had been intending to do before the election and had included in the draft Finance Bill published in July. They had intended to bring it in in the November budget, and to commence in April 2020. With the 6th November budget scrapped due to the election, the hope is that the next Government will scrap it and instead launch a long overdue review into the flawed IR35 legislation. The Off-Payroll Tax will damage business in Scotland and the rest of the UK and will see many contractors and freelancers losing their jobs and (according to HMRC) over 150,000 being forced to accept lower pay of up to a quarter. 

The announcement from the SNP in the sees them joining the Liberal Democrats in backing the aims of the Stop The Off-Payroll campaign, because to review the changes must mean halting the IR35 roll-out and then properly reviewing how best to tax contracting and freelancing. 

So now two major political parties support a halt to the Conservative plans to bring in the Off-Payroll Tax in April 2020.  

The Stop The Off-Payroll Tax campaign is a campaign on behalf of contractors and freelancers and supported by organisations and businesses in the sector. It was launched by ContractorCalculator in April this year and is supported by the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), the Forum of Private Business, IT Contracting, PRISM Trade Association and contracting sector businesses. It now has 2000 individuals signed up to the campaign and is calling on individuals and businesses to ask election candidates to back the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax campaign candidate commitment; to vote to stop the Off-Payroll Tax coming in; and to review how best to tax the contracting and freelancing sector.    

The Off-Payroll Tax candidate commitment is asking candidates to do 3 simple things:

  1. To agree to oppose the roll-out of the IR35 ‘off-payroll’ rules – Off-Payroll Tax – roll-out and will do so if elected as MP in the next Parliament from 13th December 2019.
  2. To back a review into how contracting and freelancing should best be recognised in the tax system.   
  3. To support and celebrate the contribution made by the UK’s 5 million self-employed people and to only back legislative changes that do this.  

Candidates who back this commitment will be published on the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax website list of supporters

The SNP full manifesto is here with details on page 21.  

Commenting, Dave Chaplin, Director of the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax campaign and CEO of ContractorCalculator said:

“It’s great news that the SNP have listened and have committed to a review of the IR35 rules in their manifesto. In calling for a review, the SNP are backing the Stop The Off-Payroll campaign, because to review the changes means halting the current Conservative plans to force through the damaging Off-Payroll Tax and then reviewing how best to recognised contracting and freelancing.  

“We now have two major political parties committed to halting and reviewing the Off-Payroll Tax and so both the SNP and Liberal Democrats have now shown their support for the UK’s flexible workforce. We hope that Labour will do so too and that the Conservatives will see sense and also drop these plans and back a review.  

“More and more candidates of all parties are backing the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax candidate commitment so now we need the whole sector to pull together and stop this damaging measure going ahead. So we urge all contractors, freelancers and sector organisations to join our 2000 campaigners and supportive organisations, and lobby every single election candidate, asking them to help stop the Off-Payroll Tax!”. 


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