The campaign has five key objectives:
To stop the roll-out of the IR35 Off-Payroll Tax to the private sector in April 2021.
For a genuine review of IR35 legislation led by a respected figure outside Government or HMRC, including considering how best to recognise contracting and freelancing in the tax system.
To scrap the IR35 off-payroll rules altogether and replace with a new fair system properly recognising contracting and freelancing.
To ban Zero Rights Employment and ensure that employment status and rights are the same in taxation and employment legislation.
To stop unscrupulous employers passing employers’ tax to workers, through double National Insurance charges.
The IR35 legislation, introduced in 1999, is widely regarded as being flawed – and there is clear evidence of the damage it has done in the public sector, including pushing many locum doctors and nurses out of the NHS, yet the Government is still planning to go ahead with the damaging Off-Payroll Tax in the private sector!
As well as stopping the roll-out, it is high time that the whole legislation, which has caused so many problems, is overhauled.
We need a GENUINE review of the legislation to come up with the best way of recognising contracting and freelancing in the tax system – and allow the UK’s flexible workforce to continue to deliver for the UK economy and the nation’s businesses and public services alike.
As well as the two key objectives, the campaign is also seeking:
- To remove the flawed CEST (Check Employment Status Test) from the tax system, it has never worked.
- To ensure that any ‘inside IR35’ assessment means the employer pays their own NI bill*.
- To ensure that any ‘inside IR35’ assessment results in the worker obtaining full employment rights.
The new rules state that the hirer is responsible for paying the employer’s NI. Whilst this is what the legislation says, the reality is that all contractors are being forced, legally or otherwise, to pick up this extra cost out of their pay, and no extra tax is actually paid by the client.
Instead, it has caused massive tax avoidance. The entire tax bill, including the employer’s NI, is in many cases unlawfully being paid out of the gross rate paid to the contractor. This enables corporations to dodge their tax liabilities, and is not what it was designed to achieve. Plus people have been pushed into tax avoidance schemes as the only way to avoid be wrongly classified as a ‘deemed employee’ with no employee benefits.