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PAC report lambasts HMRC over IR35 implementation

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Published: 25 May 2022 Update History

HMRC needs to demonstrate that IR35/off-payroll working can operate effectively and fairly in the real world and investigate whether the costs and unintended consequences are proportionate to the additional tax revenue which the reforms raise.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has expressed its views on off-payroll working reforms in its report Lessons from implementing IR35 reforms published on 25 May.

The PAC’s main conclusions were that:

  • high level of non-compliance in central government reflect poor implementation by HMRC and other government bodies;
  • it is too difficult for workers to challenge incorrect status determinations;
  • HMRC is not doing enough to understand the impact of the reforms on workers and labour markets;
  • HMRC does not appear to work proactively to establish whether any sectors have been affected disproportionately by the reforms and why;
  • HMRC has not made a robust assessment of the additional costs of implementing the reforms; and
  • despite years of reforming the IR35 rules, there are still structural problems with how they work i9n practice.

PAC has also recommended action points for HMRC.

These findings bear out concerns, expressed in representations, that ICAEW made to the government when the off-payroll working regime was being designed. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty contributed written evidence to the review in ICAEW 38/22, summarised with our recommendations in IR35: fundamental problems remain.

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