Monthly press roundup: February 2022
- 03 Mar 2022
If a week is supposed to be a long time in politics, then a month should be a lifetime. February 2022, however, clearly missed the memo. Over the course of the past month, the media and the country as a whole has focused relentlessly on the same three issues: Partygate, the Ukraine crisis and the cost of living crisis.
For IPSE, we have been working tirelessly in cutting through these stories and reflecting the thoughts and concerns of our members and the wider self-employed community in the press. Here are three media highlights over the course of the past month:
House of Lords follow up inquiry into IR35
After months of consultations and in-person hearings, the House of Lords Finance Bill Sub-committee finally published the main conclusions and recommendations from its follow-up inquiry into the 2021 off-payroll working reforms this month. The committee’s initial inquiry was highly critical of IR35. This latest inquiry noted a sharp increase in the use of umbrella companies since the changes to IR35 in the private sector in April 2021 as well as the flaws in the CEST tool, and the lack of consistency across tax and employment rights.
In a number of publications including The Register and Politics Home, we agreed with the committee’s focus on the flaws around HMRC’s CEST tool and the need for the government and HMRC to clarify employment status rules. We also argued that if action isn’t taken by the government to solve IR35, then self-employed workers will continue to be in a ‘worst-of-both-worlds’ scenario where they are taxed as employees yet denied the full suite of benefits associated with employment.”Read more
Delay National Insurance
Following the rapid increase in inflation and the widespread concerns around the cost of living among freelancers, earlier this month, IPSE called on the government to delay the planned increase in National Insurance. We argued in the I and a number of other publications that the increase to NI could put further financial strains on self-employed workers that have already struggled from the pandemic, supply chain shortages and Brexit.Read more
Adrian Chiles wins IR35 appeal against £1.7mn tax bill
Towards the end of the month, TV and radio presenter Adrian Chiles won a seven-year battle with HMRC over a £1.7 million IR35 tax bill for his broadcasting work. IPSE responded to the court verdict in the Financial Times by arguing that the Chiles ruling could cause problems for employers, who since April 2021 have become responsible for determining if the IR35 rules apply to freelancers they hire.
IPSE also argued that if being in business on your own account is now becoming a key tenet of how we’re determining IR35, how can a client make the determination? Without the full picture of a freelancers’ clients and business, how are clients supposed to know with any certainty, whether they’re doing the right thing or not?Read more
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