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Many UK Freelancers Expect Unfair Treatment Over IR35 Rules

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

05 December 2003


According to a survey of freelancers undertaken by financial advisory form Giant, a significant proportion of contractors expect to be investigated by the Inland Revenue under the IR35 rules, and many expect to receive unfair treatment as a result.

According to Giant’s ‘Contractor Confidence Index’ 37% of contactors anticipate a Revenue probe into their affairs in respect of the IR35 rules, and 35% predict that they will be treated unfairly when they do get investigated. Additionally, well over half of those questioned considered the IR’s guidance on the IR35 rules to be unhelpful.

“These concerns come more than three years after the IR35 rules were first introduced”, said Matthew Brown, managing director of Giant Group plc, continuing: “You would have thought that this would be enough time for the Revenue to establish better communication with contractors but this does not seem to be the case.”

“The Revenue could perhaps do more to communicate its message clearly to contractors. The IR35 self-assessment process is notoriously complicated, so clear guidance is essential if freelancers are to feel confident that they will not be drawn into an expensive dispute with the Revenue,” he concluded.


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