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Preparation must start after IR35 forum suggests reform will hit private sector

Newly published IR35 forum minutes offer further indication that speculated reform could reach the private sector, which highlights the need for end engagers to start preparations now, urges tax specialist, Qdos Contractor of The Qdos Group.

The minutes are yet another clue that the responsibility for setting the IR35 status of contractors will soon be handed from the worker to the private sector engager, much like in the public sector.

Specifically, the IR35 forum minutes explain the Government believes recent public sector reform has increased compliance, and a ‘possible next step would be to extend the reforms to the private sector.'

In addition to this ‘HMRC reiterated that there is an immediate Exchequer risk that needs to be addressed.'

Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley, outlined the need for private sector engagers to begin preparing for the widely expected changes.

"Yet another hint from the Government and the refusal to rule out further IR35 reform adds more fuel to the fire that changes will be introduced to the private sector perhaps as early as April 2019.

"Contrary to speculation, private sector engagers could manage reform - but work must start now if they are to be confident and ready to make well-informed IR35 decisions the time these predicted changes arrive.

"Given further reform looks increasingly likely, private sector engagers must communicate with the contractors they engage and ensure them they will be taking appropriate steps to make accurate IR35 decisions."