Monthly Archives: January 2020

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Government launches review of…

  The government has launched a review of freelance tax rule changes due to come into force in April. Looming changes to IR35 rules are causing widespread concern in construction. HMRC rules are due to change from April 6 making contractors liable for determining the tax status of off-payroll professionals. Major contractors have been auditing freelancers employed via personal service companies as thousands of professionals are braced for a move back to PAYE. The government is now calling for evidence from affected individuals and businesses to ensure “smooth implementation of the reforms.” Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said: “We recognise that concerns have been raised about the forthcoming reforms to the off-payroll working rules. “The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible.” Current rules allow workers to be employed via a personal service company (PSC) which determines whether IR35 tax rules should apply. That responsibility is due to shift from April to contractors who will determine employment status. Freelance workers fear they will lose out through higher tax payments while contractors will also face bigger bills from direct employment. The government is also reviewing its Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool which has attracted widespread criticism.  

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Late payment bill to…

A new private members bill is being launched in the House of Lords today in the latest bid to toughen-up late payment legislation. The bill proposed by Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn contains a statutory limit of 30 days for paying bills. It also outlaws unfair payment practices like subcontractors having to pay fees to get on main contractors’ preferred lists of suppliers and payment of fees to get paid earlier under supply chain finance schemes. The bill also mandates the use of project bank accounts for public sector works over £500,000 allows small construction firms to refer payment disputes to the Small Business Commissioner rather than go through adjudication. Lord Mendelsohn said: “Late payment is crippling small businesses while the UK economy is crying out for investment. “By failing to tackle late payment we are starving our small businesses of the capacity to act. The recent huge escalation in outstanding payments shows that decades of promoting ‘culture change’ has only made things worse. “This Bill will tackle the issue once and for all with a package of measures that is operable, impactful and measurable.” Professor Rudi Klein, SEC Group’s CEO, said: “The construction industry is in the midst of an insolvency crisis with 2019 insolvencies likely to overtake by a wide margin the figure of 3,013 insolvencies in 2018. “The Government’s manifesto for the recent election made clear that it..

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