The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, will make his Spring Statement on March 13.
Unlike the old Autumn Statement, the Spring Statement will not be a major fiscal event with the government declaring that there will be no announcements of spending or tax changes. Instead, the Chancellor will simply respond to the latest economic forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
Despite no announcements being planned for the Spring Statement, the contracting industry eagerly awaits the government’s consultation into the roll-out of IR35 reforms to the private sector, with speculation that a consultation could be released around the same time as the Spring Statement.
Similar changes took effect this time last year in the Public Sector and have received widespread criticism due to the behaviour of engagers in making blanket IR35 determinations. This has triggered contractor walk-outs in public sector contracts, causing delays and budgetary issues for public sector projects.
The government was warned about the effects of these changes in the public consultation that they ran prior to the public-sector reforms but opted to push ahead with the changes anyway. Despite such criticism, in his Autumn Budget, the Chancellor hailed the public-sector reforms a success, citing increased compliance as the reason.
What’s the IR35 Private-Sector Consultation?
“Early indications are that public-sector compliance is increasing as a result, and therefore a possible next step would be to extend the reforms to the private sector, to ensure individuals who effectively work as employees are taxed as employees even if they choose to structure their work through a company.”
The document goes on to say that external research looking into non-compliance in the private sector has already been commissioned, and the expected release date of this is early 2018.
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