HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) should better apply its resources and expertise to launch IR35 investigations against individuals who have genuinely avoided tax, it has been suggested.

According to Contract Calculator, there are few signs that IR35 will be abolished in the short or medium term, meaning the best contractors can hope for is an improvement in the application of the legislation.

The Office of Tax Simplification has been conducting a review of IR35 since last year, but the news provider does not believe the law will be replaced until a full reform of the UK tax regime is undertaken.

“A revised enforcement strategy based on more effective targeting could improve the overall quality and consistency of enforcement,” Contractor Calculator stated.

“That would provide genuine contractors with the tax certainty they require, and would secure HMRC the high profile and genuine victories it needs to drive effective self-compliance among the contracting community.”

IR35 legislation was introduced in 1999 in a bid to prevent permanently employed workers from claiming tax breaks by assuming the guise of a freelancer.


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