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IR35: Are you a Wise Owl?

Legislation & Regulation

With less than 13 working days to go before the changes to IR35 kick in, the last few weeks have seen a huge amount of client activity as the recent 3rd March Budget confirmed that HMRC wouldn’t kick it down the road another year once more.

Rob Ford, Head of Thorn Baker Construction

Interestingly, the approaches being taken by our clients are far from consistent, even though the challenge is the same – so rather than regurgitate the changes that are coming (the links at the end of this blog are always useful) we’ve decided to share what’s going on in an effort to stimulate some thought and discussion amongst those who are hurtling towards this imminent deadline.

To lighten the seriousness of IR35, we’ve been able to categorise the 4 main types of approach we have experienced in recent weeks and would invite you to assess your own approach and plot your own position with the following Matrix.  

No need to share but if you or your business are in any way involved in getting ready for the changes then a bit of self-reflection won’t harm.

The ‘Headless Chicken’ has high IR35 knowledge and knows the importance of getting things right but finds themselves either disorganised or in a disorganised business that has left it late. Compliance is important and implementation is proving tricky.

The ‘Ostrich’ represents those individuals within impacted hirers that have their heads in the sand when it comes to understanding what needs to be done; there is a business to run right now in a global pandemic and that’s what matters – not some more legislation. Ignorance is bliss?

Our (Anxious) Deer, in contrast to the Ostrich, is alert to the danger posed by non-compliance, of getting the Status Determination wrong and of upsetting their supply chain, but lacks the detailed knowledge that is required to get this right and is unsurprisingly frozen in which direction to go as every path looks tricky

The Wise Owl has it all under control. They’ve audited their entire in good time to assess the scale of the issue, they’ve assesses all the roles where they have contractors in place and passed the Status Determination Statement down the supply chain; whether roles are inside or outside IR35 they are safe in the knowledge they have taken reasonable care and can provide evidence to HMRC if required.

Well done if like many of our clients you’re a Wise Owl; but if you’re not then please do get in touch with me or my team to gain some additional ‘know-how’ on IR35 to help you implement the changes over the next few weeks. We are very well placed to help your organisation whether you currently use our services or not, and if necessary we can refer you to some even more knowledgeable experts.

In the meantime, here are some very useful links from HMRC that the Wise Owl will almost certainly have read.