It only takes a few minutes to help stop the off-payroll tax

Nigel Scragg, a contractor, has decided to take the Government head on over IR35 and has launched a public petition to get the matter discussed in Parliament.

So far Mr Scragg has managed to secure over 25,000 but will need to gain 100,000 if the matter is to be debated in the House of Commons.

His petition states: “Freelance workers and contractors have been treated unfairly by this ill-conceived legislation since it’s conception.

“It has been incorrectly used to investigate and prosecute many hardworking self-employed business owners, striving to be successful in today’s world. IR35 is anti-business!

“This is legislation that encourages envy because of supposed benefits to being self-employed by some who are not self-employed themselves.

“Why should a self-employed person working under IR35 be treated the same as an employee regarding taxation? The self-employed under IR35 are not entitled to paid holiday or sickness and by implication have no job security.

“HMRC make more money from VAT, Corporation Tax, Income Tax and Dividend Tax than from PAYE. IR35 is about discouraging strivers!”

In response, the Treasury has issued a long statement on behalf of the Government, part of which reads: “The off-payroll working rules do not apply to the self-employed. They ensure that individuals who work like employees but through their own company pay broadly the same taxes as the directly employed.

“The off-payroll working rules have been in place for nearly 20 years. They are designed to ensure that individuals working like employees, but through their own limited company, pay broadly the same tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) as those who are employed directly.

“The rules support a fair tax system by ensuring that two individuals working in a similar way for the same employer pay broadly the same tax and NICs, even if one of them structures their work through a company.

“The rules apply only to individuals who are working like employees through their own company and do not apply to the self-employed.

“Non-compliance with these rules is widespread. HMRC estimate that only 10 per cent of those who should be applying the rules do so.

“People who are not complying with these rules are not paying their fair share of employment taxes resulting in projected costs to the Exchequer of £1.3 billion a year by 2023/24. This money would otherwise go into funding hospitals, schools and other public services.”

We at Cogent recently joined hundreds of campaigners outside Parliament to protest against the off-payroll tax planned implementation in April 2020 – we would strongly advise that you sign this petition by clicking here.