G Webber CTA
Member Since: 28th Jul 2016
Tax Director of WTT Consulting Ltd.
Specialist tax enquiry firm, with a strong presence in the contractor market
31st Jul 2019
The fact that a role is outside or inside IR35 is not directly relevant to the granting of employment rights.
Whilst an employment tribunal may find that a role was a de facto employment and therefore the encumbent is entitled to benefits, this is not binding on a tax tribunal.
There is not one case in which there is a direct read actoss.
31st Jul 2019
There is no law that says you are an employee or self-employed. It is a decision between the work giver and the work doer. Gordon Brown thought he could raise loads a money to pay for his ineptness, hence an attack on the self-employed. When the self-employed went Limited, IR35 was born. .
There is employment law that determines your status for employment benefits (or not).
There is tax law that determines your status for tax purposes. This is modified by 70 years of tax cases that have explored certain situations.
IR35 did not force people into PSCs. Instead contractors were sold the myth that a PSC would "protect" them from inside IR35 status. Who sold this myth? Those whose business was forming, running and accounting for PSCs and agencies who wanted to continue offering outside IR35 contractors to business to keep their revenues flowing.
31st Jul 2019
The above is an admirably clear description of the need for an end client to make the SDS and what happens to it and the liability for tax thereafter. Inevitably however, given the word count limit, it cannot convey the commercial and personal implications that will play a part here.
Many contractors, contrary to common perception, stay at one end client for reasonable periods, say a couple of years or more. Periods in excess of 10 years are not uncommon.
Before we all jump to the conclusion that "it's obvious that they are employees", often in the world of IT, these people are moving from project to project and in the majority of cases remain genuine contractors. It si also the fact that the length of time in a role is NOT a test found in determining status.
Under this new system though, the end client will make that obvious leap above and for that and other reasons - mainly to control risk - they will be inclined to make "inside IR35" blanket decisions. In other words all contractors in certain roles are inside IR35 regardless of circumstance.
We already see major banks saying this in public.
HMRC knew when they put this in place that this would happen and had refused to say that such blanket decisions are not within the rules. Instead they want contractors and end clients to clash on this.
I say clash, but in reality this is a short conversation. Contractor prepares and puts up a considered case as to why they are outside the IR35 rules. End client says "are you willing to indemnify me if you are wrong?" Contractor says, no and the law says you are liable. End client says, "too risky - do you want the job or not"?
End of debate.
Even if the dispute resolution fails to satisfy the contractor, he/she has nowhere to go to appeal. HMRC are not interested and the tax system does not permit any appeal.
Not the death of contracting perhaps but a deep and significant wound.
9th Jul 2019
Confiscation proceedings against a man with a £1k a day gambling habit?
I'll not be holding my breath.
9th Jul 2019
Has the firm, their insurers or the ICAEW (if they are the governing body), repaid the stolen money to the clients?
29th May 2019
So we add another case to the growing list of those where HMRC have acted in an arrogant, bullying, unaccountable and morally, legally and ethically unacceptable manner.
This comes soon after their "seriously flawed" attempt to prosecute Zeus Partners over a film scheme (come on, 25 years after legislation allowing relief on film, 10 years after a series of "victories" in tax cases, HMRC still does not understand them?) - which is going to cost you and me millions in fees and compensation.
HMRC is out of control. They consider themselves unaccountable and if you have the temerity to insist that they follow the rule of law or treat you like they treat a multi national or even admit that their collection tactics are little more than strong arm intimidation, you are first branded as "difficult", then given a "take it or leave it" ultimatum or face more bullying, then forced into endless and expensive delay trying to get to Tribunal.
The House of Lords called for a powers review last year.
I think we need more.
I think we need a root and branch review of how HMRC has been corrupted from being a trusted and trustworthy organisation doing a difficult job, fairly, and now is seen (and acts and demonstrates at regular intervals) as a faceless, thoughtless, pernicious and vindictive pursuer of "maximum revenue".
Either successive Governments have forced HMRC into this situation via their policies - especially austerity - or a senior cabal of Civil Servants, with their eyes on the prize of that end of career gong - has taken HMRC into a downward spiral.
We need a Royal Commission and we need it fast.
8th Apr 2019
I'm going to add one final thought before stepping away as this debate has once again polarised into those who claim "you must have known" and those who claim "we were duped".
Because of this, the debate is going in circles.
Are loans repayable? Yes. Are we seeing lenders ask for repayment? Yes.
Will repayment make any difference to HMRC? No.
So HMRC say, "the loans are not real = pay tax". They also say "even if the loans are real = pay tax".
If they think this now - and they tell us that this has "always" been the case - why did they not say so in 2003?
5th Apr 2019
We're not in a playground where name calling counts for anything.
We're dealing with real people who stand to lose EVERYTHING because of what was, in the vast majority of instances, a genuine mistake.
They will lose financial security, family, relationships, careers and in some cases their lives.
If you are prepared to write them all off on the basis of a discussion with one clearly deaf accountant I suggest your sense of balance needs adjusting.
This is my last exchange with you as I'll never convince you of anything you have not already decided.
5th Apr 2019
Looking back over previous visits to this subject I see that you have a very purist view and automatically brand any user of such a scheme as doing so knowingly and with malice aforethought.
This despite others in the past advising you of their circumstances in which they took part. Clearly you are unimpressed with their tales, many of which I can verify.
So be it.
Just remember that it's sometimes difficult to see the mud of real life from the top of an ivory tower.
5th Apr 2019
You are entitled to a view and yes I have a firm that assists contractors.
I ask you to however consider the report and not my motives.
The report has found that HMRC has conducted a cynical campaign against a group of taxpayers in order to cover up their own failings.
You may not like the fact that the group of taxpayers targeted happen to be my clients, but as they are I'll not apologise for taking every opportunity to defend them.
I would expect a professional adviser to do the same if this sort of blatantly vindictive and potentially unlawful action was taken against their client group.
I understand that you are trying to link a commercial motive with a perhaps false indignation and thereby reduce the effect of whatever I say here but in this instance I have to observe that you do yourself no favours as any reasonably competent professional surely cannot ignore the findings?