...and a policy continued by the inept Theresa May for the same reason.
Perhaps if HMRC looked at the artificial business practices of Amazon et al who manage to create profits in low tax countries then they wouldn't need to waste time and resources chasing the little folk.
I am somewhat perplexed by this decision and the interpretation of tests for employment/self employment.
It is possible for a ref to withdraw but it is not possible for him to arrange for someone to appear in his place so I would have thought that indicated an element of control.
I note that "once the match begins, PGMOL have no say at all in how the referees carry out their task." and on the basis of this there is no deemed control.
This argument could be extended to almost anyone. The next time HMRC suggest that a construction worker is employed I wonder if the argument that they are not told how to lay the bricks or wire the electrics will be accepted?
You have identified the real risk to all if HMRC can successfully introduce retrospective legislation.
I recently attended a presentation given by Rachel Garratt (Senior Policy Advisor, HMRC) which was truly scary.
Having explained how HMRC adopted a hard line on evasion (good, no problems with that) she went on to explain the hardening attitude to avoidance.
The scary thing though was a statement that to counter clever accountants, HMRC would, and I quote, "interpret legislation on the basis of what HMRC believed to be Parliaments intention, not necessarily what was drafted".
So, HMRC appear to adopting a position whereby the actual wording of legislation is irrelevant and that their interpretation supersedes what is actually in the statute books.
This cannot be right, if Parliament introduces loopholes, then it should amend its legislation and not allow HMRC to put itself above Parliament.
I asked whether under this approach HMRC would, as an example, challenge
1.the use of dividends rather than salaries, or
2.a sole trader operating a business through a limited company
on the basis that they deemed it to be a means of avoidance and she refused to answer.
It appears that the right to organise ones affairs to legitimately minimise tax is soon to be lost.
....that this will lead to HMRC putting its efforts into this large-scale activity and therefore they'll stop persecuting small businesses on technicalities and honest errors.
I have a dream. But I'll wake up soon.
Dream on, HMRC's strategy :-
Strong on the weak, weak on the strong.