The Conservatives’ landslide win marks their biggest victory since 1987.
However, experts are questioning the proposed review of IR35 for private contractors and freelancers. As the next Budget is planned for February 2020 and the changes in April 2020, the new Government don’t have much time to act.
Daniel Fallows, director at Gorilla Accounting, has mixed feeling about the result:
“Contractors and freelancers up and down the country can now get on with their business with a far clearer idea of how the regulatory environment for the self-employed will develop. However, there are still unanswered questions for the new Government on this issue, and we hope that its promised review of IR35 will be a key priority.”
Julia Kermode, chief executive of The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), said:
“February is simply too late for the off-payroll legislation to be properly implemented.
“If they don’t delay then the promise was nothing short of an arrogant and disingenuous move to secure votes. Many businesses have already invested heavily in preparing for the changes and given the legal requirement for reasonable care, it is unrealistic to press pause for a potentially meaningless review to take place. If the Government wants to avoid utter chaos and shambles, businesses need clarity now.”
John Bell, founder and senior partner at insolvency practitioners Clarke Bell, added that the company is already seeing an increase in the number of contractors approaching them for advice on closing down their limited companies. They’re being faced with the concerns that the legislation will have on their work and careers.
All that said, a greater deal of certainty is good news for Brexit business planning. Alison Horner, indirect tax partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said:
“Undoubtedly, a period of certainty that the new Tory Government brings is most welcome and will give business more time to finalise their Brexit strategy. This would include plans for imports and exports; setting up an EU business establishment to deal with distribution and supply chains within Europe if necessary; registering for VAT in EU jurisdictions; and appointing human and capital resources.”
“All UK businesses are already aware that they must obtain an EORI number through HMRC for importing from the EU post Brexit. However, given the complexities of international trade, careful preparation and the ability to grasp all the technical details involved with any new agreement will make or break many UK businesses.”
EORI number: What it is and how to get or check one