Licensing Consultant

Not just any technology

HMRC denies outside-IR35 hiring ban as accounts reveal agency’s reliance on umbrella workers

HM Profits & Customs (HMRC) has denied that it has issued a partial employing ban on limited organization contractors, soon after its most up-to-date established of accounts unveiled a somewhat big range of umbrella staff carrying out challenge operate for the governing administration tax assortment agency.

HMRC’s accounts, which cover the 12 months to 31 March 2021, unveiled that it engaged 403 non permanent staff, of whom 15 were being determined to be doing the job inside of IR35, throughout the reporting interval.  

The remaining 388 men and women the agency used throughout that time experienced their engagements labeled as being “out of scope” of the IR35 guidelines, which – as per HMRC’s reporting guidelines – implies they were being either doing the job outside IR35 or engaged through umbrella businesses.

In a comply with-up statement to Laptop Weekly, HMRC verified that the huge the greater part of the men and women labeled as being out of scope of the off-payroll guidelines were being employed through umbrella businesses throughout this interval, when incredibly couple of were being determined to be doing the job outside IR35.

The agency declined to supply Laptop Weekly with a specific breakdown of how numerous of its contractors are doing the job either outside IR35 or through umbrellas.

“Given the low range of off-payroll staff who were being deemed as being outside of the scope of the IR35 guidelines, there would be a hazard that disclosure of the information could direct to the identification of an individual,” mentioned HMRC in a created reaction to Laptop Weekly.

Nonetheless, Laptop Weekly understands – through sources near to HMRC – that less than 5 of the men and women whose engagements fell out of scope of the IR35 guidelines were being doing the job on an outside basis.

The somewhat low range of staff engaged by HMRC on both equally an inside of- and outside-IR35 basis, as opposed to how numerous umbrella organization employees it works by using, has prompted contracting industry sources to question no matter whether the agency has a partial employing ban in position.

The roll-out of the IR35 tax-avoidance reforms, in the community sector in 2017 and in the non-public sector throughout 2021, has resulted in some organisations imposing employing polices that prioritise the employing of contractors that are employed through umbrella businesses.

This is since businesses that engage umbrella organization contractors are absolved from getting to establish how all those men and women should really be taxed, since they are – strictly talking – employees of the umbrella organization through which they supply their providers.

This excuses the stop-customer, which in this case would be HMRC, from needing to establish how these contractors should really be taxed, which also relieves them of a sizeable administrative stress.

“The actuality that there is a tiny, one-digit range of contractors seemingly employed by HMRC on an outside-IR35 basis implies they have all but implemented a blanket ban,” mentioned a supply within the contracting industry, who spoke to Laptop Weekly on affliction of anonymity.

When Laptop Weekly put this claim to HMRC, a spokesperson denied that it has employing insurance policies in position that unfairly favour limited organization or individual assistance organization contractors within the department or its know-how arm, Profits and Customs Electronic Technology Solutions (RCDTS).

“There is no ban on participating off-payroll staff utilizing a individual assistance organization in HMRC or RCDTS,” mentioned HMRC in a statement.

The range of non permanent staff engaged by HMRC overall throughout the 2020-2021 money calendar year is vastly bigger than the past calendar year, when its accounts claimed that fifty five non permanent personnel were being engaged by the agency throughout the 12 months to 31 March 2020.

To this place, HMRC’s accounts validate that the quantity expended by the agency on consultants and non permanent staff rose from £1.1m to £8.6m concerning the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 money years.

“This should really not be seen as a development, but is in mild of the stop of the UK’s transition interval with the EU, Covid-19 and the significant Technology Supply programme agenda we are at this time enterprise,” mentioned HMRC.

Dave Chaplin, CEO of contracting authority ContractorCalculator, mentioned that Brexit, the pandemic and HMRC’s electronic transformation workloads would give rise to a lot of “classic challenge work” that would be ordinarily carried out by outside-IR35 contractors.

“Classic outside-IR35 operate is in which contractors deliver providers on a precise challenge, and is output-based,” he instructed Laptop Weekly. “Yet they have a tiny range of contractors employed on an outside-IR35 basis, based on their accounts. That does not make sense.

“HMRC rhetoric around off-payroll has usually been that about one particular-third of contractors may possibly be running on an ‘inside-IR35’ basis. Nonetheless, here we are seeing only a handful of contractors out of hundreds being employed in that fashion.”