Bauer & Cottrell registered for HMRC’s ‘Agent Engagement’ webinar on the new off-payroll rules, which took place on Wednesday the 19th of February, just to be sure we have not missed any important details about the reformed IR35.
During the webinar, HMRC presented four straw polls for participants. We do not know who participated but HMRC stated that there were more than 1,000 ‘agents’ taking part.
The questions and results were as follows – and remember, these are from the very parties who are advising businesses about the April 6th IR35 reforms.
HIGHLY – 9%
CONFIDENT – 40%
NOT CONFIDENT – 50%
YES – 45%
NO – 39%
Have never heard of it before today – 16%
YES – 51%
NO – 49%
YES – 59%
NO – 41%
So as of February 19th 2020 with just six weeks to go before the reform, 50% are not confident in making a SDS, 39% have never used CEST and very worryingly 16% had never even heard of CEST. Forty-nine per cent have done nothing at all about the new IR35 rules and 41% don’t even know how many PSC users the organisation engages.
These pretty damning findings support what everyone in the contractor industry is shouting from the rooftops, including what people and professionals are telling the House of Lords inquiry (which closes for contributions on Wednesday the 26th of February).
Now, will HMRC report back to the government these alarming figures from its webinar? Let’s hope so. The new rules should be abandoned or at least delayed.