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What does the election result mean for IR35?

Rebekah Valero-Lee ir35

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The Conservative party redrew the political map by winning a sizeable majority in last week’s general election.

Conservative candidates made major inroads into traditional Labour territories in northern England and Wales, claiming 364 seats over all. With the political landscape at it’s most turbulent in decades, what now for business and IR35?

As Boris Johnson settles into a new term as UK Prime Minister, businesses will want to see a Government that will be clear-sighted about the challenges facing businesses. Despite being dubbed the ‘Brexit election’ organisations will be seeking clarity not only about our future in the EU but the other major issue, IR35.

Throughout their election campaign, the Conservative party maintained a promise of reviewing IR35 reform, proclaiming that their plan offered the best support to the self-employed. Indeed, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, clarified that promise on the eve of the election, tweeting that his party’s vow to review changes to IR35 was an “important commitment”.

As such it is likely that many freelancers and contractors will have voted Conservative based on the party’s IR35 pledge.

 
Will the government honour its pledge and hold a genuine IR35 review?

It seems unrealistic that a review of IR35 reform will be able to take place before April’s roll-out, particularly as the budget is now being planned for February 2020. In addition, while a review is a sign of progress, it does not mean the changes will be scrapped. Therefore, it is imperative that contractors, recruitment agencies and end-clients must continue their preparations.

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 review which may/may not take place.

 
Act now

There are just weeks left to get your house in order. Aside from the threat of fines from HMRC, those who don’t take the necessary steps to deliver IR35 properly, and deem those inside or outside correctly, will ultimately lose talent to their competitors who do.

The future success of any organisation will come down to its ability to attract and retain this talent, so while IR35 may seem like a challenge, prioritising it now to ensure your business is futureproofed and able to meet the demands of candidates, will reap the long-term benefits. 

 

Worried about IR35? Morson and our expert IR35 partners can offer advice and a comprehensive solution for your business, contact the team at IR35@morson.com