IR35 ‘takes the UK back to the dark ages’ as freelancers leave industry | Personal Finance | Finance

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“An entrepreneurial Britain? Not anymore!”

Contractors, self-employed workers and businesses have all been impacted by IR35 changes as new rules were introduced in April 2021. Since April, medium to large sized businesses have been required to assess and manage the tax status of contractors they hire. This, many experts warned, would raise costs and admin obligations for companies and hamper the hiring of freelancers.

Indeed, recent research from The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) stated “more than a third of contractors in the UK have left self-employment since the changes to IR35, either moving into permanent employment, retiring, working overseas or simply not working”.

Darren Fell, the CEO and Founder at Crunch, said IR35 changes are being tangibly felt at ground level and has “taken the UK back to the dark ages”.

He added: “IR35 is a deliberately complex and oppressive tax regime that is, in essence, undeclared war on the people of the UK, most notably the freelancing and contracting sector. Our Crunch clients and community have long expressed their huge concerns about IR35, even before the recent private-sector change.

“While many countries worldwide stop disguised employment, our tax legislation IR35 has taken the UK back to the dark ages in employment terms. So much risk is put on medium and large companies employing contractors incorrectly with the threat of huge fines and time-consuming investigations.

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