A crowd funding campaign that was set up to mount a legal challenge against IR35 public sector rules has reached over 90 per cent of its target.

Mike Gibson, who is an IT contractor, set up the Just Giving page. Currently, the web page is showing donations of over £9,500, which is just below the £10,500 that the contractor has targeted for phase one.

Gibson said: “I can’t thank you all enough for the overwhelming response. Given the progress, we may extend our target to give us some [financial] breathing space.”

The funds are required for stage one, which is Research and Analysis, but Gibson said that when the target for this phase had been reached, the fund would not be closed.

The Research & Analysis work is being done by tax barrister Michael Paulin, and this may cost more than at first estimated.

Most of the people who have supported Gibson’s campaign were caught by the April rules. Gibson is calling on all contractors to share their complaints and experiences of how public sector employees are interpreting the IR35 rules.

Paulin will be exploring the legal options for contractors caught by the IR35 rule changes.

Gibson said: “There are unquestionably people who are acting as contractors who should be employees. They are doing the job of an employee and are avoiding tax. However, the number of those is relatively small, and there are a lot of people getting caught by IR35 who – in a sensible economy – should not be caught by IR35.”