Self-employment ambassador intends to simplify IR35

Monday 29 June 2015

The member of parliament responsible for representing contractors and the self-employed has vowed to tackle IR35, which he says is "unnecessarily complicated". David Morris MP will use his renewed role to represent contractors' interests at Westminster to get the procedure simplified.

Morris, who has recently been reappointed to the post, made it clear he intends to continue his relationship with the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE). He said that together they should be able to come up with new ideas to improve the situation.

"One of the things I would especially like to tackle is IR35 which has always been unnecessarily complicated," he added. Morris made the comments after congratulations were offered by Chris Bryce, chief executive of IPSE.

He said: "With a small business background and having been self-employed himself, David has a keen understanding of the issues that the smallest businesses face on a daily basis such as late payment and getting access to the support and training needed to succeed. We congratulate David and look forward to him continuing to champion this important section of the economy."

For those starting out as a contractor, IR35 can be something of a headache. This item of UK tax legislation is designed to prevent something known as disguised employment. What this essentially means in practice is someone who previously worked for a company becoming self-employed, but then working for the same firm full-time, but paying a lower rate of tax.

There have been many attempts to simplify IR35 since it came into effect in 1999, but all of these have so far failed. These have included the Office of Tax Simplification, HM Revenue & Customs, the PSC Committee and the IR35 Forum.

Only time will tell whether Morris can change this stalemate situation, although it is unclear how long he thinks it will take, as the timeframe he mentioned was in "the coming months". If he does manage to achieve what appears to be the impossible, then it will be welcomed by contractors across the UK, who find IR35 among the most complicated things they need to deal with a self-employed professionals.

By Victoria McDonnell

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