Private sector IR35 reform unlikely before 2019, new Budget timetable suggests

The Government will not make an announcement regarding it’s ongoing consultation into extending recent IR35 reforms to the private sector until the Autumn Budget in November 2018, updates to the Government’s Budget timetable have revealed.

In light of this, the general consensus among contractor bodies is that, should the Government decide to press ahead with an extension of the reforms, this is unlikely to take effect until 2019.

Updated on 6 December on HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) website, the new tax timetable for 2018 states: “Policies will be announced at the Budget in the autumn, and consulted on in winter and over the spring. Draft legislation will then be published in July for technical consultation ahead of the Finance Bill being introduced in the autumn.”

The new wording indicates that the consultation process alone is likely to run-on until the summer, with no announcements made until near the end of the year.

This means that even if an extension of IR35 reforms to the private sector goes ahead, contractors and businesses effectively have another full year to prepare.

Towards the end of 2017, contractor bodies and associations began urging contractors who are against the private sector reforms to write to their local MPs about the issue.

“MPs need to understand that IR35 presents a serious threat to contractors, UK plc and even HMRC,” one particular contractor body said in a recent web article.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, a petition has been launched urging the Government to scrap the extension of the IR35 reform altogether. The petition, which can be accessed here, has already attracted more than 14,000 signatures.

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