Employers lack data to make IR35 worker status decisions, say MPs

Organisations do not always have the information they need to make accurate worker status decisions under IR35 requirements and it is too difficult for workers to challenge decisions they feel are incorrect, according to a group of MPs.

In its second report looking into the lessons from implementing IR35 reforms, the public accounts committee says HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) needs to demonstrate that the off-payroll working rules “can operate fairly and effectively in the real world”, and urged it to investigate whether the “costs and unintended consequences” are proportionate to the additional tax revenue it has raised.

Matt Fryer, head of legal services at Brookson Legal, said: “The PAC report confirms that the UK needs an effective tax framework in place to enable private and public sector bodies to access the flexible workforce – which is vital to operational delivery, agility and growth.

“We would hope that some of the issues raised by this and previous reports from the House of Lords and Matthew Taylor are addressed in the Warman review into the Future of Work.

“In the meantime, these findings remind us that organisations which are unable to navigate this complex system risk both non-compliance and the loss of talent to competitors who can offer more attractive and compliant contracts.”

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