A partial response has been offered by the government to those parties who provided a response about the outlined framework’s consultation. The answer came when the government made use of the MP’s debate for the planned reform of the highly vexed IR35.
The Treasury minister, John Glen MP, said that the government have been deeply seeking consultation on the proposed reform while they are thoroughly evaluating the representations.
Mr. Glen explained that they intend to create a higher degree of stability and certainty for individuals and organisations who are worried because of the upcoming regulations—by April 2020, the off-pay working rules are expected to come into effect. These rules will be applied on both the public and private sectors and they also plan to guide and assist them so they are eased regarding their preparations for the future.
In the last few months, the tax tool, CEST was a subject of lot of criticisms; the minister explained that the HMRC is organising sessions to research on it. They aim to collaborate in close proximity with the affected stakeholders in the near future to ensure that all the requirements for the relevant parties are fulfilled by the tool.
This fresh approach from the Treasury has been a welcome surprise for many. In the past they categorically denied to design a solution which can help everyone and instead asserted that they only intend to assist the “majority”.
While debating with the MPs, Mr. Glen revealed that they plan to put the newly-improved versions of the CEST under testing and review; this improved CEST will be unveiled before the proposed reforms become permanent in 2020. He stated that,
“I asked officials for greater clarity on what that is likely to mean, and we are talking about improved guidance, better phraseology and improved language that gives greater certainty to individuals who make inquiries.”
The minister also discussed the blanket decisions of the IR35 and referred it to as a ‘legitimate area of concern’; he believes it to be an exception. He pointed research from last year to explain that a lot of those having public sector assessments are working with them through a case-by-case approach.
Mr. Glen also revealed that he looked into how the research was conducted. The HMRC now plans to use the services of an independent body so it can initiate communication with the local government departments, central government departments, and the NHS to come up with a conclusion.