The IR35 thing is controversial, we know that, but the IR35 online assessment tool on HMRC website is there to make things easier.
It’s been exactly 1 year since HMRC launched the tool, but 12 months on are contractors finding things any easier? The answer is no.
In fact, ask most contractors how much confidence they have in the IR35 online assessment tool and they will give you one word…”low.”
So that is low confidence that contractors are feeling right now towards the subject, which means the mood is also low, which is not surprising really when you consider that many contractors took a hit to their income, especially those in the public sector.
Confusion was the first thing that most contractors felt when IR35 was first announced.
Confused about if IR35 applied to them or not, and more importantly, if it did then how much would be took out of their pay packet.
That is why the IR35 online assessment tool was invented, to give you the contractors some much needed clarity and reassurance, but unfortunately all it seems to have done is confused most of you.
As we speak, this IR35 madness is mostly confined to contractors in the public sector, but if the government have their way then the private sector will soon be following the footsteps.
“More confusion!” is what most probably will be said if IR35 for the private sector happens, as millions more people try to grapple with the online assessment tool.
Not only confusion, but also hesitancy, as a recent questionnaire shows us that 81% of contractors would be put off from working for a company in the private sector that relied on the HMRC online assessment tool.
My opinion? While working in the public or private sector might not be as lucrative as it once was with IR35 in place, the one thing you can control is getting a good accountant on your side.
Instead of messing about with online tools and trying to work this IR35 thing out yourself, what you want to be doing is allowing a professional accountant to do all of the hard work for you.
They know the ins and outs of IR35, and can advise you on the exact steps to take in order to legally pay the minimum amount of tax. You might be surprised at what they can do for you, but you have to contact them to find out.
It all starts with choosing the best accountants for public and private sector contractors.