NUJ backs peers’ report calling for freelance tax IR35 to be reformed
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28 April 2020
The government must take heed of a Lords committee report and rethink its plans for a controversial tax law which will adversely affect freelances.
"The Committee welcomed the government's decision to defer these off-payroll working rules in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, our inquiry found these rules to be riddled with problems, unfairnesses, and unintended consequences. The potential impact of the rules on the wider labour market, particularly the gig economy, has been overlooked by the government. It must devote time to analysing all of this. A wholesale reform of IR35 is required.
"The rules were deferred for a year because of the current crisis, but how prepared will businesses recovering from the crisis be to take on this extra burden on next year? The government needs to think this through very carefully. We call on the government to announce in six months' time whether it will go ahead with reintroducing these proposals.”
“The UK government must reconsider its decision to reject this report and take the time it now has to completely rethink IR35. We know from the roll-out to the public sector, which included the BBC, that it is seriously flawed and unfair. It has created what the report says is an ‘undesirable half-way house’. Many individuals are forced to incorporate because companies will not deal with sole traders and such companies do not want individuals to acquire rights under employment legislation. The Covid-19 crisis has further highlighted that individuals are left with no protection or financial support.The UK government must look at this again and what support it can give.”
The NUJ will be working with its cross-party Parliamentary Group to call for a major re-think of the tax. The group will also be supporting an early day motion, sponsored by Caroline Lucas MP, which addresses the unfairness of the Coronavirus Self Employed Income Support Scheme which has left many NUJ members falling through the cracks and without financial aid. Ask your MP to sign early day motion 389 in support of the #ForgottenFreelances.