IPSE hits out at ‘absurdly complex’ tax laws after Hustle actor case


IPSE has responded to BBC actor Robert Glenister’s tax tribunal result, saying the case highlights the confusion and need for clarity in the self-employed sector.

It responded when the star of BBC series Spooksand Hustle found himself hit with a £147,547 NICs bill this week, having lost a tribunal over his self-employed tax status.

IPSE says the case is a perfect example of the current confusion in the self-employed sector – caused both by the lack of clarity over tax and employment status and by the ‘absurdly complex’ tax laws for the self-employed. IPSE is calling for a statutory definition of self-employment and simpler tax laws to clear the confusion.

Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, said: Robert Glenister’s case highlights the need for much clearer legislation around employment and tax status. The rules which govern how individuals pay tax are absurdly complex and it is all too easy for individuals to fall foul of them. IPSE has called for a statutory definition of self-employment which would bring much needed clarity to this area. Freelancing is crucial to the UK economy, adding £119bn each year. We need a tax system that these businesses can understand and comply with.

“The recent change to the way IR35 works in the public sector is a major step in the wrong direction. It’s made an already confusing situation much, much worse. In many cases, the change has led to crucial freelance experts leaving mid-project, affecting the ability of organisations to deliver on-time and on-budget."

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Tristan Grove

Head of Communications and Policy Engagement

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