In amongst the Britain’s Got Talent audition that the chancellor took part in yesterday were some announcements regarding the economy and some good news for contractors. We won’t repeat his numerous Christmas Cracker jokes but here’s the 5 key takeaways for contractors;
Like the Panama Papers before, the latest leak on the tax affairs of the world’s rich and powerful show that the tide is turning against tax avoidance schemes.
There is no suggestion that those implicated in the leaks did anything illegal, the Paradise Papers have reignited a public debate about the global structures that facilitate tax avoidance.
The leak has led to a further blurring of the line between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion. It has also caused serious reputational damage for dozens of individuals and multinational companies.
Reforms to ‘disguised employment’ IR35 rules were introduced in the public sector this year. The new rules caused confusion amongst recruiters and lead to a take-home pay cut for many contractors.
Now the Treasury has dropped its strongest hint yet that similar reforms could be introduced in the private sector – with the potential to affect millions of contractors and freelancers.