One of the measures the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng referred to in the delivery of the Growth Plan 2022 (commonly referred to as the mini-Budget) concerned moves to simplify IR35 rules. This measure was one of the pre-election promises of the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss. In the end it seems that the Chancellor went further than expected and announced moves to simplify the IR35 rules that included the full repeal of the 2017 and 2021 reforms.
The rules for individuals providing services to the public sector via an intermediary such as a personal service company (PSC) changed from April 2017. The rules shifted the responsibility for deciding whether the intermediaries’ legislation applies, known as IR35, from the intermediary itself to the public sector receiving the service. These rules were further extended in April 2021 for individuals providing services to certain medium and large-sized clients private sector organisations via an intermediary such as a personal service company (PSC). Small companies remained exempt.
It should be noted, that whilst the full details on this change remain to be published, the repeal of the 2017 and 2021 reforms is set to take place with effect from the start of the 2023-24 tax year on 6 April 2023.
From this date, contractors providing services via an intermediary will once again be responsible for compliance with the IR35 rules to determine their employment status and to pay the necessary tax and National Insurance contributions. This will remove the burden that currently falls on businesses and public authorities to determine the employment status of their contractors.
The government will need to ensure that these reforms do not result in increased tax avoidance and there may be new measures put in place in that regard. We will publish further information when more details are made available.