A sense of panic and alarm spread rapidly through the wider contracting community when HMRC sent IR35 letters to more than a thousand GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) freelancers and contractors last week. But this is just a ‘taste of things to come’ when IR35 changes are extended to the private sector in April 2020, according to a contractor interest group.
HMRC has sent a letter to around 1,500 GlaxoSmithKline contractors accusing them of being ‘disguised employees’ and ordering them to pay more tax under IR35 rules.
As the taxman ramps up the aggressive campaign against contractors, the letter was reportedly sent to contractors in different departments at the multinational pharmaceutical company.
HMRC’s letter says that in the 2018/19 tax year, their “view is that the contract between your PSC and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) comes under the off-payroll working rules ‘IR35’.”