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IR35 and off-payroll: 2022 matters

It’s now a year since major change to the off-payroll working (OPW) rules. The OPW regime requires a decision on employment status to be made for tax purposes, broadly analogous to the decision required by the IR35 regime for those working through an intermediary, typically a personal service company.

The government’s aim is that those working ‘like’ employees, but through an intermediary, pay roughly the same income tax and National Insurance contributions as employees, and 2021 saw the responsibility for making the employment status decision pass from contractor to client in medium and large-sized organisations. Contractor engagements with small organisations remained unchanged.

HMRC compliance has changed from 6 April 2022. Initially, it operated a ‘light touch’ approach, meaning penalties were not charged for inaccuracies relating to the new rules, unless there was evidence of deliberate non-compliance. This grace period is now over.

Contractor or hirer, wherever you fit on the spectrum, we recommend taking stock of your position. Making a status determination is always a finely balanced decision, whoever it falls to. Do please contact us for an OPW/IR35 health check to reduce risk and increase business confidence.

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