Wake me up
on April 6, 2023.
The UK government has announced plans to repeal the controversial reform to off-payroll taxation, a set of rules which applied to IT contractors who move between companies. Speaking during his "mini-budget" in the House of Commons today, chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng said reforms to the off-payroll working had …
Guess who also benefits...
"It follows the revelation that, in a highly unusual move, the prime minister’s most senior adviser would receive his salary through his company, which may help him minimise tax.
In last week’s budget Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor, repealed IR35 rules that were introduced in an attempt to stop people paying themselves through companies, rather than being on a payroll, to minimise their tax."
Not sure if the “quid pro quo” arrangement will see the light of day - the "quid" is rapidly heading towards parity with the Greenback, and nothing to put the break on for it to go further.
Britannia Unchained... or, as I read in an article recently, Britannia Unhinged
"If they no longer need guys on the full payroll they will stop advertising for permies on good salaries and just go back to contractors again."
True, But those companies probably just hired people inside IR35 for short periods anyway.
Worst case, if the permies have issues.. they can always become contractors - According to some its amazing with no drawbacks... According to some.
I worked for myself for a little while, my primary motivation being to get away from working "for" an organisation run by incompetents and having to defend them in public. At the time I determined by IR35 status, but I was clearly working outside IR35 and should clearly be seen as such under the recent rules.
I stopped work before the new rules, but could well have been caught up in them, especially when working for the risk-unaware public sector. In my case I'd have declined to work under a contract inside IR35, but I didn't need the money, and lots of people got sucked in with no choice.
There will always be a problem here, and I worked with people who worked as "contractors" who were clearly working as if they were employees. But the last rounds of changes to IR35 rules for the public and then private sectors have not been the solution.
The solution is probably to double the number of people working for HMRC and increasing the penalties on individuals who deliberately say they're not inside IR35 when they should be. But most of that's probably not going to happen. However, even acknowledging that, the way it used to work was better than the way it's changed recently, knowing that some people lie and get away with it is better than the bureaucratic clap-trap that's been attempted since 2017.
The problem wasn't / isn't the individual contractors, it's always the hiring business doing it wrong. Rather than offering a contract to work on a problem and then continuously rolling it, the business should have discretely named projects which the contractor can work on, on a per project basis. My experience of this is that businesses are often too lazy (read: too disorganised) to plan that far ahead and organise things into project units, but ultimately the work I have produced in such environments could be broken down into individual projects. It's this lack of paperwork area that leads people into thinking contractors are doing it wrong, but the reality is that businesses bring in contractors for a reason, and that reason is usually the immediate skill availability. They just really suck at sorting themselves out; e.g. a 2 year transformation project has rolled into its 5th year, the business has 6 monthly budgets and the hiring team don't know if the money is there to keep them on and are tied with decisions, etc. When IR35 came in a great many businesses just changed all of their positions to umbrella or permanent, often with reduced overall tax payments when added up. This, coupled with the sudden drop in morale and COVID causing an absolute storm in the sector which, if you've looked at job boards recently you'll see still hasn't recovered, means that overall the IR35 reforms I suspect were a completely pointless exercise.
Some clients know they need a permanent staff member, or ought to take someone on a FTC for a long term project, but they don't want to report an increased headcount, as that makes the company look inefficient. Taking on a contractor solves the headcount issue along with the pesky trouble of pensions and employers NI (amongst other costs).
I completely agree that the budget cycle of many companies is just bonkers and they don't know from one month to the next what they have and what they need. One of my clients put me on a rolling 1 month contract because they didn't know when the money would run out so I'd have the same conversation every two weeks about whether they still needed me or not. Granted, that's a good outside indicator as they couldn't get away with that for a permanent staff member, but it was damn annoying at the time.
Yes I agree. When I was contracting in the 1990's the client would hand me a purchase order with a brief description of what they wanted done. We had already worked out a spec and a quote. I would complete the task and invoice them. I did have an hourly rate but that was just used to quote the fixed price.
Breaking the contract into individual tasks worked really well. They only ever got invoiced for something that actually worked. They could see what the money was being spent on. I did very very well out of it too because different departments would write me a purchase order for the thing they wanted. I had other staff work on those at the same time I was working on some. Many purchase orders on the go at the same time.
Ultimately a new IT manager did not like this and switched it to an employee type status where I just billed for hours. This did reduce the expenditure but ultimately made me IR35 and prevented me from doing several jobs at once. I stopped contracting for them after that.
IR35 stopped my main business. I don't know if it hurt the client, I would assume so because it became harder for departments to get IT work done because it had to be done by an employee.
IR35 is being revoked.
But the rules are not being revoked.
Instead of bashing everybody over the head with it, we shall only bash IT contractors - as and when we can catch them, which is around 10% of the time.
This will liberate the economy.
Can you just run that by me slowly again?
to be clear, most people around these parts think that only IT contractors suffered under IR35 but that's because this is an IT site and IT contractors are/were fairly highly paid therefore drew headlines.
IR35 affected - and will continue to affect - loads of different industries. Medical locums, journalists, agency nurses, engineers, designers, graphic artists. social workers and loads of other people with their own businesses, even down to the guy with the sandwich trolly on board a train. Its effects are widespread.
It also includes us poor Ex-IT techies who gave up with this public/private sector IR35 malarkey and went off to kick cones down the road working in Traffic Management and Street Works.
We were often using our own chapter 8 marked up vehicles on sites, having to pay an arm and leg for training (often at training centres a long way from home), medical check ups, along with a load of daily expenses and having to provide our own PPE. the obligatory grief off idiot drivers, the odd nutter on a knifing rampage or drunk/drugged up drivers, karens going on about us closing or blocking roads, etc...
Then to get dropped inside IR35 and get royally screwed over as the companies refused to hike the basic rates to compensate the huge drop in daily take home after insane travel costs and hiked up taxes ripped in excess of 40% of gross got wiped out.
Basically, working at a supermarket looked on paper to be more appealing...
oh, and the local insurance giant now pays LESS for the same rollout project as they did 25 years ago, and its now inside IR35 just to add insult to injury... (if they had kept up with inflation, they would be offering it at £300+ a day)
It's not being revoked. A small flaw in the last set of addition meant that technically the contractor was not liable for the determination of inside/outside.
This repeals that oversight, meaning the contractor is again liable for the determination of inside/outside again.
"It's not being revoked. A small flaw in the last set of addition meant that technically the contractor was not liable for the determination of inside/outside.
This repeals that oversight, meaning the contractor is again liable for the determination of inside/outside again."
Just to be clear - it was not an oversight it was 100% by design, it was pretty much the sole change to the legislation.
Remember the 2021 change was EXACTLY the same change that was made in 2016 to the public sector but applied to the private sector - if it had been an oversight they would have known about it in 2017 and not pushed ahead with the 2021 implementation in the private sector.
The whole reform was put in place so that companies (who are waaay more risk averse than individual contractors) would make the determination and more often than not come down on the "inside IR35" side of the fence. Why wouldnt they, putting a contractor inside was 0 risk for them, putting them outside opened them up to possible tax liabilities for each contractor backdated for up to 6 years.
The intention was clear, force more contractors inside IR35 whether they were legitimately operating outside or not.
What's happened since however is that the two most high profile cases that HMRC have won have been against the home office and DWP - both government departments 100% funded by tax money so they have spent millions of tax payers money on litigation to recover tax payers money from a government department who will be given that same tax payers money back in their next budget next year. Its been quite embarrassing for the government.
I may be a bit cynical, but I think this is just HMRC getting ready to go after individuals who cant mount as much of a legal defence as the big companies.
Still, better than being told by a company that doesnt understand the rules that your inside when you're not!
IR35 when it arrived at the turn of the century was very onerous for clients because they thought they would be liable for the contractors tax bill, they were not. Gradually through the changes they started actually making the client liable.
With this latest change (now revoked) which made them undeniably liable for the contractor's tax bill, just like an employee.
Ill say one thing for it.
So many people panicked and stopped contracting that those of us that stuck with it have never had it so good.
Rate Increase, not had more than a day out of contract since the implementation and loads of outside IR35 work knocking around. Ive never known anything like it - Its been a great 18(ish) months
Flat rate, simple tax economy?
As your income increases, the effective tax rates are 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 40% then 45% currently. Sure the 45% rate is being dropped and the 20% is dropping to 19% - but we will still have a scale that goes 0%, 19%, 40%, 60% and finally 40%! It's bonkers.
I think you've let your reflex reaction to anything that isn't "I'm all right jack" get the better of you.
Those left of our current right-wing government are aghast that the "party of fiscal responsibility" are cutting tax receipts thinking than can cover the shortfall by borrowing heavily and hoping that the generations yet to come wil pay it off.
Wait, so the markets that have been in an insane bubble of speculation for the last few years are suddenly experts on national economies?
We'll see how this pans out in these extraordinary times, but this is at least the first time where we've seen a measurable shift in economic policy being offered by either the current or opposition government (both of which have been tinkering incompetently, or opposing incompetently around the edges for a decade or so).
Indeed. Few governments try to avoid borrowing to invest in public services/infrastructure while interest rates are low then suddenly shift to borrowing just to be able to cut taxes for the richest in society while interest rates are high.
I wonder why nobody's tried this since the 1970s.
"Wait, so the markets that have been in an insane bubble of speculation for the last few years are suddenly experts on national economies?"
Not necessarily experts, but like it or not, the markets are judge, jury and executioner. How the markets respond can affect everyone in some way: pound drops, cost of imports goes up (and that includes components or materials for things that might still be made in the UK) , yay inflation!
It would also put a lot of accountants out of work, and a shut a load of the tax-haven loopholes that the Tories are so fond of looking after their mates with.
The trouble is undoing it all requires concerted effort for extended period, something a 5-year parliament never does; especially one supported by a civil service with vested interests in complexity to create jobs.
$Deity forbid that government actually aim to be for the benefit of quality of life than service to the moneymen for a change.
those who fall under 1099 (Form 1099-Misc), […]
For reporting payments to non-employees, Form 1099-MISC was replaced by Form 1099-NEC starting in the 2020 tax year. (HIstorically, Form 1099-NEC was itself replaced by the then-new Form 1099-MISC in the early 1980s.)
Yay say all the contractors, now we can go back to paying ourselves minimum wage, employing the wife/hubby as a director, and paying a big juicy divvy. All while simultaneously berating big tech for not paying their taxes, and being indignant at anyone who questions their own tax regime
This is only an announcement of intent.
If it's like the rest of their intents and diabolical execution, they wont DELIVER it. Don't forget contractor are reliant on the contract being offered by the company. They will be very reluctant to pay "high contractor rates" whilst all their costs are running out of control. The work will continued be off-shored, as they are no additional financial risks by doing so.
I will wait to see what Acts of Parliament are actually passed into law first. As this non-budget has not received the scrutiny (OBR et-al) that is required for "a Finance Act".
"Yay say all the contractors, now we can go back to paying ourselves minimum wage, employing the wife/hubby as a director, and paying a big juicy divvy. All while simultaneously berating big tech for not paying their taxes, and being indignant at anyone who questions their own tax regime"
I'll let you in on a secret because you seem to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder and I know it will annoy you.
Most of us never stopped, We just moved to clients who valued the service(s) that actual contractors provide.
I've literally never known the market so good, Rates are up and there are more roles going, its been a glorious 18 months - at this rate Ill be retired before I'm 50.
How's your job going?
My job's going great thanks,
Just because I think you should pay your taxes doesn't mean that I have a chip on my shoulder, I earn an excellent salary and pay my way in society. You, on the other hand, seem proud that you are scamming society out of the contribution that you should be making. Your tax regimen i(f it matches what I described in my OP) may be legal, but it's immoral as hell. How's your conscience?
I was never a Tory, but the past 10 years of Labour / Dems going full-scale neo-Maoist Cultural Revolution / neo-Bolshevikism, have made me realise that the Tories are the least worst option. As for this budget, it will help the economy to grow, they're beginning to realise that they should copy the USA, albeit with some extra social provisions / safety nets.
Absent power, they've done it within the party ranks, through the purges carried out by Corbyn's Momentum. They're now utterly obsessed with the dalliances and fetishes of the idle rich youth that dominate the party's policy. Labour is completely unrecognisable as a party of the workers today.
John Major got it spot on when he said "Fifty years from now Britain will still be the country of long shadows on county grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers, and — as George Orwell said — old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist" didn't he?
You just need to look at the first three weeks of Truss' government and it's obvious Merry Olde England is in safe hands against the terrible designs of the extreme left.
Isn't that right Mister Flibble?
Its not the only good thing.
Corp tax changes were cancelled and income tax is being cut to 19%.
The corp tax change is the biggest thing there for me, but the income tax change will bring in an additional grand or so between me and my partner - Its not amazing but its better than nothing.
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"so you can buy a flat screen TV and your missus can get an iPhone"
Have you seen the price of Gas & Electric? The price of food? The price of fuel?
Perhaps the first thing that pops into your head when you have a spare bit of cash is "Oh, I'd better get this spent on something fancy" but I'm not spending the extra grand on an iPhone of flat screen TV1 I'm using it to take the sting out of the fact that our home fuel bill is going to be almost the same as the mortgage over winter.. I'm using it to cover the extra price of Fuel as its now 25-30% more expensive for me to get to work.
A grand in tax savings is fuck all when you consider that our home fuel bills have risen by almost £2k a year
Maybe you should think before posting - not everyone is in the same boat as you - maybe some people NEED that extra money NOW and yeah, long term the economy might suffer, but not everyone has the luxury of being able to worry about whats going to happen in a few years when they're trying to decide whether to pay the mortgage or the utility bills right now.
1 Whats with the choices of things to splurge on? I can understand the iPhone but flat screen as opposed to what? a CRT? What century are you living in that a flat screen TV is some massive luxury item affordable by only the wealthy?
If you have the classic limited company set up offering IR35-proof services you can loan yourself whatever amount you need from your company at 0% and pay it back years in the future, hold a directors' meeting and take dividends, or pay home office expenses like electricity on expenses anyway.
So, about the income tax drop which amounts to nothing in the grand scheme of things, hence the £1000 items for you and pocket change for someone on an average wage and nothing for the poorest. Imagine what would have happened the government forced electricity suppliers to hold bills down with a windfall tax or similar, as governments in other European countries have - everyone would have been able to benefit instead just people who earn what you earn or more. So your appreciation for the government's incompetent budget rings hollow.
I think the person you are replying to might have moved off topic and have been talking about the wider budget not just IR35, so I'm not sure they are a contractor with a Ltd company - I didn't see anything in their comment that would lead me to think "contractor".
If you have the classic limited company set up offering IR35-proof services you can loan yourself whatever amount you need from your company at 0% and pay it back years in the future
Not true, there's quite strict rules on how long interest free loans from a company to a director can run for before interest is due AND then the interest rates are set by HMRC,
hold a directors' meeting and take dividends
Assuming that there is money in the company that is a option.
or pay home office expenses like electricity on expenses anyway
You can pay a % of your bills from the company and save some corp tax or you can pay yourself (I think) £24 a month flat fee for use of home as office space - Neither of which touch the sides of the cost of living increases. And you miss the fact that the contractor STILL pays them regardless if the money comes from their business or personal accounts, at the end of the day its still their money.
Imagine what would have happened the government forced electricity suppliers to hold bills down with a windfall tax or similar
Yeah that could have been good - better than what we got in fact - but I think the OP (and the person you are replying to) were essentially saying that *for them* it could have been worse, a grand less tax is better than noting. Personally I'm a little indifferent to the whole thing we're going to get screwed one way or another - covid cost the country billions and that was always going to need to be recouped in some way from us.
A grand a year extra, while being shafted to the tune of 10-15% due to the immediate devaluing of all your assets; UK investments, pension funds, etc. and the promise of more to come through money printing.
This is not a plan for growth, it is a plan following the path of the Zimbabwean dollar. Printing money to get out of debt never works. See also, Greece & Italy pre-Euro, Germany 1919-1939, and a host of other examples.
As was noted earlier today: Truss, on the crash of the pound "no comment". And on the election victory of a homophobic fascist in Italy "Congrats".
So, no, there was nothing good in the mini-budget.