An agency body has criticised HMRC for being “unwilling to give any steer” on the April changes to IR35 rules to the very parties that will be liable and responsible for any failure to comply with those rules.
APSCo said that HMRC’s refusal to provide more detailed information on the new rules means that it will probably not be released until next year.
The agency reached this conclusion following a meeting with HMRC policy officers Julie De Brito and Neil Chattell. The meeting was convened to allow the agency to put its members’ questions to the organisation. However, after the meeting, one member commented that there will be no “real detail” on the guidance before March 2017.
The Autumn Statement 2016 is expected to go ahead with the IR35 changes, but it will most likely not contain much information about them.
If this is the case, then the members of APSCo will be annoyed as they have already complained of being “frustrated at the lack of concrete answers” at their meeting with HMRC.
HMRC had been asked to provide information about the timeline in which agencies would be expected to implement the changes, but no answer had been received.
HMRC was also asked to provide information on the scope of the reform – for example, would it cover placements into contractors who were service providers to the public sector? Again, HMRC could not pinpoint the scope of the reform.
Finally, HMRC was asked to assess the cost to the public sector and the likelihood that it would lose talent. HMRC gave no substantive answers to this question either.