Latest IR35 Forum minutes released
The IR35 Forum, set up soon after the Coalition came to power, to oversee the overhaul of the way IR35 is administered, has published minutes from its latest meeting, which took place on 29th April 2013. The group discussed the need for clarity on IR35 guidance for public sector contractors who now need to demonstrate their compliance with IR35, and the need for consistency across departments in how the rules are applied.
The Forum also discussed the apparent lack of success of HMRC’s own contract review service; of 94 contracts reviewed in 2012/13, it was “unable to give an opinion” in 79 of these cases!
You can download the minutes in PDF format.
Government consultation on offshore tax avoidance
Danny Alexander has launched a consultation over Government proposals aimed at clamping down on tax avoidance by offshore employment vehicles. Although the Treasury points out that some schemes are set up for “legitimate commercial reasons”, others are founded purely to avoid paying income tax and National Insurance Contributions. The consultation will end on 8th August 2013.
Recruitment organisation responds to consultation launch
Responding to the announcement, REC’s Chief Executive, Kevin Green, said that the key driver behind the growth of offshore schemes in recent years “is the relentless focus on cost above all else by clients in both the public and private sectors.” Green advises his members not to encourage this “race to the bottom” type behaviour.
Linked in to provide ‘available for work’ button?
An intruiging post on Freelance Adviser last week suggests that LinkedIn may be trialling a new button which will enable contractors to indicate their availability for new assignments. Currently you have to manually indicate your current availability by updating your profile – and there isn’t an industry standard method for doing this.
Umbrella companies not planning on becoming recruitment organisations
Following publication of an article by Adrian Marlowe, which indicated that some umbrella operators were considering competing with recruiters by providing placement services, APSCo has published a robust response. The recruitment body said that it had received an “overwhelming” response from its members, including 30 from umbrella companies which stated that they had no intention to provide recruitment-related services.