A review into IR35, promised by Sajid Javid in the run-up to the election, has been launched by the UK government. While this will come as welcome news for some, contractors will fear that it doesn’t go far enough, and simply confirms that the new rules are going ahead.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 programme Money Box recently, Javid said: “One thing in particular that I want to look at again is the proposed changes to IR35.” 

He added: “I want to make sure the proposed changes are right to take forward,” before stating: “I think it makes sense to include the proposed IR35 changes in that review.”

While there was no mention of such a commitment in the Conservative Party election manifesto, both the Liberal Democrats and the SNP pledged to review IR35 in their election manifestos.

The Prime Minister “must act now” on the proposed changes to IR35 to ensure it is reviewed before its planned April roll-out, a tax specialist has warned.

Chief executive of IR35 specialist Qdos Contractor, Seb Maley, said the government had an opportunity to “finally deliver” for the self-employed with a review into the proposed IR35 changes.

IR35, which was introduced in 2000, is an anti-tax avoidance rule that applies to all contractors and freelancers who do not fall under HM Revenue & Customs’ definition of being self-employed.

From April 2020, every medium and large private sector business in the UK will become responsible for setting the tax status – or IR35 – of any contract worker they use, as a result of changes introduced in last year’s budget.

Earlier last month chancellor Sajid Javid pledged a review of the reforms as part of the Conservative party’s manifesto bid to support self-employed workers.

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