New rules regarding IR35 in the public sector, otherwise known as the ‘off-payroll working rules’ came into force on 6th April 2017. This will now be extended to the private sector from 6th April 2020 for medium and large businesses only.
Small businesses will be exempt from the new rules:
“The government intends to use similar criteria to define small businesses as is found in the Companies Act 2006.”
This is defined as a company which satisfies two or more of the following requirements:
- has an aggregate net turnover less than £10.2 million
- has an aggregate balance sheet total less than £6.1 million
- has less than 50 employees
A consultation was held in the summer of 2018 exploring options for improving IR35 compliance in the private sector, with the public sector reform as the preferred option. The ‘Summary of Responses’ document was published shortly following the Autumn Budget, confirming a further consultation to be published “in the coming months”.
The draft legislation was published July 2019 and included some refinements which will apply to both the private sector and public sector from April 2020. Whilst we don’t expect any changes, until the final legislation is published, the following explanation of reform is subject to change.