The IR35 issue briefing on HMRC’s compliance approach was released on Tuesday as part of HMRC’s effort to ensure compliance with the new off-payroll working rules, which come into effect 6 April. The six-week lead time is an improvement compared to recent late and last-minute guidance documents, but then HMRC has had nearly three years to prepare its plans for the next phase of IR35.
HMRC confirmed it would adopt a light touch approach to penalties in year one. To dampen down contractor fears over retrospective adoption of the rules, HMRC vowed not to use information collected under the new regime to open any enquiries into returns for previous tax years – unless it suspected fraud or criminal behaviour.
HMRC as quoted by AccountingWeb:
“The scope of our compliance activity is not solely related to the application of the off-payroll working rules, but includes all arrangements that result in less tax being paid than should be the case, such as tax avoidance schemes that claim to avoid the rules.”
Tax does have to be taxing.
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