Following a break in its investigations of IR35 cases at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, HMRC has begun to contact affected contractors again – but in a more conciliatory way.
Contractor insurance firm Qdos is stating that HMRC has picked up these investigations by sending letters to those individuals who may be impacted by IR35 that ask them if they are in a position to deal with the matter. The CEO of Qdos, Seb Maley, states that this indicates that the ongoing virus situation and the difficulties it has caused many contractors have led HMRC to approach them more cautiously.
Speaking to Contractor UK, Maley said this was clearly evidence of a revised attitude from the tax authority, at least temporarily, but he went on to add that:
“Even so, and despite a seemingly more considerate stance, it shows that HMRC is ramping up its IR35 compliance activity once again.”
Maley also warned contractors that, even if they have not heard from HMRC about this recently, it does not necessarily mean that the authority has dropped its investigations into them, and he pointed out that it has not yet reopened all cases.
Kate Cottrell, a status expert, argued that getting IR35 cases resolved as rapidly as possible was perhaps the least stressful option. However, she added that many affected – notably directors of limited companies – have received no COVID-19 government support and are struggling both financially and emotionally. Asking a business accountant in Goole, or anywhere they are based, for help is one possibility for people in that situation.