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Everything you need to know about IR35 as an interim finance professional

Everything you need to know about IR35 as an interim finance professional

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The new IR35 rules for off-payroll working have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but are due to come into effect in April 2021.

If you work in finance and provide services to your clients using your own limited company, these new rules could apply to you.

So, let’s take a look at all the essentials you need to know about IR35…

What is IR35?

In a nutshell, IR35 refers to new off-payroll working rules.

By bringing in IR35, the UK Government is hoping to close a loophole relating to ‘disguised workers’. These are professionals who provide their services to clients using an intermediary, such as a Personal Service Company (PSC) or their own limited company.

If it wasn’t for the fact that services are provided through an intermediary, these workers would otherwise be classed as full-time employees or direct contractors. And they would be paying the same tax and National Insurance contributions.

IR35 aims to ensure that all off-payroll workers pay broadly the same in tax and NI contributions.

How IR35 will affect interim finance professionals

The main change that IR35 will bring about relates to the employment status of each worker.

You are likely to see your employment status change if you are an interim finance professional who provides your services to a client through an intermediary. For example, you may have your own PSC, partnership or limited company for example, or work through an agency.

If you’re a sole trader, freelancer or work under an umbrella company, you shouldn’t be affected.

If your client is in the public sector, they have the responsibility of deciding your employment status. If your client is in the private sector, you (or your intermediary) will be responsible for deciding the employment status for each contract.

When will IR35 come into effect?

Originally, the new rules were schedule to come into effect on 6 April 2020. But following the coronavirus crisis, this has been delayed in order to give businesses and workers more time to prepare. The new rollout date for IR35 is 6 April 2021. 

So, what happens next?

If IR35 applies to you, it means that your fees from particular clients may be subject to different tax and NI contributions. The new rules may also have tax implications for the companies you work for – and some may consider their workforce planning strategy.  

But although there are concerns that IR35 will raise administrative and financial challenges within sectors such as finance, there is potentially a silver lining.

For interim finance professionals, there will still be the flexibility to take on interesting projects with a variety of different clients – there are no drastic changes there. But what could happen is a shift towards more clearly defined projects for interim professionals.

It is expected that the demand will remain for experts with highly specialised experience, to provide business solutions for specific projects. But clients will now need to give each assignment outside of IR35 a clear timescale and scope of work.

Interim workers can continue to keep their distance from the politics of organisations, and put all their focus and unique skillsets into genuine, project-based assignments.

Have questions about IR35? Get in touch with our accountancy and finance recruitment experts here at Sewell Wallis – we’ll be happy to help.

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