back to article 80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35 – report

The vast majority of UK government IT projects are suffering delays due to freelancers quitting over the IR35 tax clampdown, according to a survey of contractors. Of 405 IT freelancers surveyed by Contractor Calculator, 79 per cent said the projects they have been working on were delayed as a result of contractors leaving. In …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think I've got it

    Government strategy is to force out local contractors and bring in even more off shoring to ensure even less tax is paid.

    Brilliant, I never saw that one coming..... I knew our glorious leaders had a cunning plan, I just hadn't realised quite how cunning it was!

    As an aside I hear McDonalds are looking for zero hours workers so everything is cool.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: I think I've got it

      "Government strategy is to force out local contractors and bring in even more off shoring to ensure even less tax is paid."

      I'm thinking this is to force the little guys out so the big boys get more money.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maths

      Let's do some maths here, shall we?

      48% of contractors left

      26% stayed and stayed outside IR35 (half of the 52% who stayed)

      7% went inside IR35 but got a rate rise to compensate (13% of 52% who stayed)

      19% (remainder) took it on the chin.

      So the original projection that 80% would leave if forced inside IR35 is actually pretty spot on. 81% left or stayed outside IR35 or got paid more to stay to compensate for being inside IR35.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge
    FAIL

    Joined up thinking!

    To prevent tax avoidance, the government screwed contractors. Contractors have left. Now big consultancies will get the work. Big consultancies use overseas contractors to do the work.

    Net result: higher const to government and lower tax income.

    Well done.

  3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Joke

    Colour me surprised

    Why do I suddenly have a vision of the public sector IT industry doing a 'double-take brother' style jump.

    Joke icon, because that's what this is - a joke. If (when?) they roll this out to the private sector, they might want to watch Fight Club. Do *not* fuck with the little people who make your little bits of money disappear and reappear.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Headline misleading..

    Should say 80% of projects contractors are involved in.

    None of those I'm involved in are affected because none of them involve contractors specifically to avoid these issues.

    These ones are delayed due to incompetent project management and unrealistic expectations :)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Headline misleading..

      "None of those I'm involved in are affected because none of them involve contractors specifically to avoid these issues."

      So how are they staffed? Surely not 100% Civil Service. Are they being outsourced and largely off-shored as per the comments above?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Headline misleading..

        You get your freelancers in through an SI, so the SI takes the IR35 overhead. Most of the big departments have been doing this for years. Whether or not you got stiffed by the latest rule changes depends on who was your intermediary. If it was Accenture or Capgemini or Atos you're probably fine - you're part of a large scale delivery contract so there's no IR35 dependency on the department (there is on the SI).

        If you were bodyshopped in through Crapita, as many departments did, you were fucked. Wasn't worth Crapita's time to fight your case, and none of their contracts were delivery contracts (they were T&M bodyshops) so you wouldn't have won anyway.

        1. Nominally

          Re: Headline misleading..

          Sounds about right. Why would any self-respecting govt dept want to pay £300p.d. for people when they can pay £1000p.d. and not have to worry about any chance of an under-spend? Especially as your £1000p.d. big brand contractor will be forced to spend most of his/her time doing sales instead of delivery.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So contractor centric body says "Sky is falling, its the end of everything", while HMRC says "Nothing to see here move along"... I could never have guessed those responses!

  6. Christoph Silver badge
    Facepalm

    They want to raise £185m a year from contractors? Did they not realise that this would mean that the contractors get £185m less money, or did they think that the contractors would be perfectly happy with this and would not seek to replace that money by avoiding the change, demanding more money, or leaving?

    How could this possibly end up not costing them more than the amount 'raised'?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Numbers.

      I just love one of the notes on the draft legislation that was proposed to implement this that said :-

      "This measure is only expected to affect 400,000 people" (my emphasis).

      400,000. That's significantly close to half-a-million, and they said only? I think they were talking about direct and indirect effects, not the actual number of contractors, though.

      I'm not sure if it is still online in the HMRC website. Maybe I ought to hit archive.org.

      1. jdoe.700101
        Facepalm

        Re: Numbers.

        £185,000,000 spread over only 400,000 people, is only about £460 per person. That must be pretty close to a rounding error to all involved, except for the additional expenses that are presumably now incurred.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: Numbers.

          No, the reason the numbers look so low is that they realised some would just jump ship.

      2. robin thakur 1

        Re: Numbers.

        The reality is that lots of people where I work walked out in advance of the change coming in because as usual there were lots of grey areas in the legislation and the company in question couldn't guarantee anything. Some left the country and went to work in Europe or the rest of the world where at least there is some certainty of tax laws and fewer issues.

        Everyone was told they 100% had to switch to Umbrella Companies from Ltd companies. Then somehow, and at the last minute, exemptions and contract changes were made to allow contractors to still be outside IR35 (with recertification every 6 months) and to stay as Ltd companies. The net result is that some of the ones that left have now come back on higher rates and the ones that didn't leave have seen little changed, other than the massive tax rises affecting all contractors (loss of dividend relief, raising of the VAT flat rate scheme etc.)

        Move on nothing to see here....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did they not realise that this would mean that the contractors get £185m less money,

      Yes, 100% they did. The pea-brained idiots of HMRC and HMT believe that contractors are avoiding paying tax that by rights should be in HMRC's pocket, for the government to waste on all those super things it wastes money on.

      Tax avoidance is OK if you're stinking rich, politically well connected, a rich media luvvy, and particularly if you're a huge US corporation, please continue, in fact let's arrange a sweetheart deal over a nice lunch. If you're one of the masses, then TAX AVOIDANCE ISN'T FOR YOU. Your role is to vote for the feckless arsewipes on either side of the House of Commons, and to be persecuted by the bureaucrats of HMRC.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Facepalm

        They never manage to join the dots. Osborne introduced the dividend tax. I now live on savings and just pay into a pension. Net result - I'll probably retire slightly earlier, on slightly less money. Government gets lots less tax.

        Idiots.

      2. strum Silver badge

        >The pea-brained idiots of HMRC and HMT believe that contractors are avoiding paying tax that by rights should be in HMRC's pocket, for the government to waste on all those super things it wastes money on.

        ...like paying contractors?

      3. sitta_europea

        [quote]

        Your role is to vote for the feckless arsewipes on either side of the House of Commons ...

        [/quote]

        Well put, but my conscience is clear on that one - and I've been of voting age for 46 years.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      How could this possibly end up not costing them more than the amount 'raised'?

      You missed the government calculations for "Amount Saved". It works something like this:

      Year 1 savings: -100%

      Year 2 savings: -99%

      Year 3 savings: -98%

      Year 4 savings following Capita review and increase in contract value as 3% saved: -150%

      Year 5: General Election year so Amount Saved revised to "100% saved"

      (BTW, this really does happen)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Per cent

    Was someone trying to reach their required word count?

    Back on the topic. They still insist of screwing over the little people and ignoring the big people like Google etc. Yes, I know it's harder than it sounds going after them. With Google threatening to leave the UK if it means having to pay more tax but still annoying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google leave the UK?

      Please go. As you apparently don't do any [cough,cough] business here then why are you here at all?

      And that large building in Farnborough that has Alphabet on the front (it is also shared with BMW) Remember who was there before you... Nokia and we know what happened to them.

      And you can take Amazon with you unless you want to pay taxes like the rest of us plebs.

      1. K Silver badge

        Re: Google leave the UK?

        @AC Becareful what you wish for.. if they have to pay the correct amount of tax, then they'll use that an excuse to raise prices, follow by a press release stating "Due to increase overheads within the UK, a price increase is required to offset the differences!"..

        These companies have one rule - Placate the shareholders..

        Shareholders have one rule - Screw everybody to get maximum return

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google leave the UK?

        Erm, that Alphabet is a car leasing company owned by BMW.

        Nothing to do with Google, apart from deliciously refusing to let them have alphabet.com.

      3. AmoebaUK

        Re: Google leave the UK?

        Pretty sure Alphabet in Farnborough are some car leasing company, nothing to do with Google.

    2. wurdsmiff

      Re: Per cent

      Pretty sure it's established el Reg style to use per cent in body copy, with the symbol in headlines. Not my preferred style, but it seems to be applied consistently.

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Per cent

      Or, even more correctly, per centage, or percentage.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Per cent

      I think you'll find 'per cent' is the standard British English form.

      1. staggers

        Re: Per cent

        Bugger. I've been using 'percent' all my life. Oh well.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Per cent

        "the standard British English form"

        So the standard English form then. It's the original so needs no qualification.

  8. alain williams Silver badge

    The duty to pay taxes ...

    is something that middle class people must do. It is not a burden that is to be felt by the very rich or by large corporations.

    If large corporations were made to pay taxes just like the rest of us: where would all those nice consultant type jobs come from once MPs and top civil servants retire ?

  9. Velv Silver badge

    When is someone in HMRC going to admit that the Income Taxation structure in the UK is no longer fit for purpose.

    The method of engagement of workers has vastly changed since National Insurance was introduced 106 years ago, and even since PAYE in 1944. Instead of making up stupid schemes to block the "loopholes" that have emerged, re-write the entire structure such that all earnings are taxed on an equal basis.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Downside of that is that pensioners don't pay NI, but they do pay income tax.

      The problems were made worse when Gordon Brown decided that rather than increase income tax, he'd increase NI instead. People are much more aware of income tax rates than NI.

    2. Symon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @Velv, yeah, but how the hell are you going to do that? It's impossible.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Estonia

      @AMBxx

      And don't forget employers NI. If your employer didn't have to pay it, you could have it instead. It's a total smoke and mirrors thing. It also means that directors who are shareholders can avoid NI completely, and still get their stamp by taking a small salary, receiving the rest of their compensation out of the business in dividends. Now, IMO, maybe people who set up companies and employ people deserve a tax break, but why do it in such a hidden, underhand way?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Instead of making up stupid schemes to block the "loopholes" that have emerged, re-write the entire structure such that all earnings are taxed on an equal basis.

      Define "earnings".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35

    I was about to start a bout of uncontrollable laughter, but then I remembered two things:

    1. Although some of these projects would've never delivered or were for pure vanity or just plain misguided, some would've offered real value, benefits and transparency to people; delays cost money, so this is not good for the country.

    2. IR35 is a worrying, spiteful and stressful tax. HMRC have defined it so loosely, and have continued to move the goalposts that no-one can sensibly plan for it. Gordon Brown needs to slowly die of a painful disease and rot eternally in hell for bringing in this and other taxes - he's smothered the UK technical base, and subsequent governments for some reason continue to press the pillow firmly down.

    All those people who have elected to no longer work on these projects must find work elsewhere, and whilst there will be a proportion of useless ex-barista web 'developers' that won't be missed, there will be some very smart people who will take their brains and knowledge elsewhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35

      Disclosure: I am not a contractor. But when I need something done quickly, correctly and elegantly, a contractor is what I need. Not a low paid junior in an off-shore location. Not a team of idiots from CSC, HPE, IBM, ...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting side-article to be aware of in the Telegraph.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/03/thought-got-away-parking-fine-think/

    The Ministry of Justice are using access to new technology, i.e. Credit reference agencies, Government Databases and online tracing tools to chase historical fines, some over 10 years old, that were never paid, often where the person has since thrown away any documentary evidence.

    Worth a read. Not directly connected, but does show what being a contractor to the Government currently entails, stitching people up for past mistakes because they now can, off the back of so called terrorism "to protect us" / to keep us safe aka even more monitoring.

    It's the typical information/privacy land grab on information, that should be never used for such purposes, well certainly not retrospectively. You may have decided at the time, that the risk of getting a ticket was lower.

    I wouldn't mind but most of us have enough to deal with trying to legally / stay out of bus lanes, keeping below speed limits 'today', when we are just trying to earn a crust.

    I'm now wondering what methods they will be using retrospectively in 10 years time and modifying my ways accordingly.

  12. adam payne Silver badge

    "There is no evidence of a drift from the public sector and no delays to IT projects due to the new rules."

    Plenty of delays because of things such as spec changing, unrealistic expectations etc but we wont comment on that.

  13. Lotaresco Silver badge
    Devil

    80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35 – report

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha(gasp)hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha(wheeze)hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha(croak)

    Stop it, you're killing me, I can hardly breathe for laughing. Government takes aim at foot, pulls trigger, and hits the target.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      and hits the target

      Government takes aim at foot, pulls trigger, and hits the target.

      Only target they have hit.

  14. Valeyard

    complete hypocrisy on this comments page

    Reg commentards: "Oh fuck off then google. threatening to leave because we want you to stop your dodgy tax loophole arrangements well GOOD"

    Also Reg commentards: "they think IT contractors aren't paying tax? just because i pay myself dividends from a company in the caymans which is also me? well i am absolutely flabbergasted and shocked at the sheer cheek of it! i'll just leave and THEN see what happens GATHER THE PITCHFORKS MEN"

    IT contractors in "everyone should pay tax except IT contractors" shocker

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

      Commentard in "everyone is wrong except me" shocker.

    2. Lotaresco Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

      "IT contractors in "everyone should pay tax except IT contractors" shocker"

      Nope. IT contractors in "We should only have to pay the tax we actually owe" shocker. The Government is trying to have their cake and eat it, as usual. The Government is trying to claim that some companies are different to others. There's no legal basis for this, the Government just decided overnight that lots of small companies, each of them paying their full tax burden, were somehow trying to defraud HMG and that there was more to be wrung out of these companies by treating the entire company income as a salary paid to an individual. Not only that but the individual would also have to pay employer's NI as well as the employee contribution. Claiming that all IT contractors operate illegal tax avoidance scams with companies in the Caymans is simply defamation.

      This from a government that lets giant companies operate without paying taxes in the UK, they also pay massive subsidies to those companies to stay in the UK, no doubt swayed by the contributions to party and individual MP funds that they receive from those companies.

      The Schadenfreude is because the Government were warned that any attempt to crack down on IT contractors and impose unjust taxation would see many simply leave. They poo-pooed that idea, and as ever with government they only see the mess when their nose is rubbed in it.

      I gave up government work three years ago when it was made obvious that they were going ahead with this nonsense. Since then my day rate has doubled and I now get to spend more time doing what I like, both at work and in my leisure time. The Government would have to pull some astonishing rabbits from their hat to entice me back.

      1. Valeyard

        Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

        the government is trying to have their cake and eat it by treating you as an individual instead of a company?

        1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

          Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

          Not instead of, as well as.

          Just because they decide to tax your company earnings as your salary, doesn't remove the need to pay Employer's NI or to pay your accountant or to pay VAT etc etc etc.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

            "to pay VAT"

            Not pay it but collect it, free of charge, on behalf of HMRC.

        2. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

          "the government is trying to have their cake and eat it by treating you as an individual instead of a company?"

          No, the government is trying to have their cake and eat it by treating a company as if it were one of the employees of the company, when it suits them and treat a company as a company when it suits them.

          For reasons that are bizarre the government chooses not to tax a company as an entity in the same way that people are taxed. Thus it's the government fiddling the tax system.

          If the government wished, it could apply a level tax structure with the same taxation rates on profits, share dividends and income tax. However the government wants to give some companies a big tax break and some shareholders a big tax break. What it doesn't want is for those tax breaks to be available to the inferior middle classes. Hence the attempt to treat small companies differently from the ones that employ MPs as "consultants" or directors.

          As a consultant one has to pay every penny of tax owed or face fines/criminal charges. What government is trying to do at present is to fool people into thinking that small companies are doing something illegal or immoral when they do neither.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

        "they only see the mess when their nose is rubbed in it."

        Or not even then.

  15. J J Carter Silver badge
    Boffin

    FanSaaStic!

    This shows the benefits of deploying SaaS like Office 365 and Salesforce.com, it's all there for you with a few clicks. No expensive contractors needed!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The view that contractors are rolling in gold and don't pay tax is simply wrong and out of date. It is also a view the current government holds, demonstrating again that they are fools. We raise more and pay more tax than permanent staff. Forcing us through IR35 results in a net loss. One day someone will pull out a calculator and realise we actually are more of an asset if left alone. Sure some abuse it, so track them down but leave the rest of us alone until then the Public sector will struggle to recruit permanent staff and contractors, at least in the IT sector, will avoid them.

    1. Lotaresco Silver badge

      "Sure some abuse it"

      Interestingly, the ones that abuse it seem mostly to be those appointed by government to a position in a public body. Either ex-MPs or other political favourites appointed as "directors" of an agency, trust or quango with a whopping salary that they don't want to pay tax on. Politicians think everyone else is on the fiddle, because they are.

  17. colinb

    Out of step with the modern world

    (near) Instant Karma, gonna get you.

    Unfortunately it means nothing to gov departments unless they are fined for delivering late projects (which i would action do the minute i became dictator-in-chief).

    On one hand government have a stated aim to encourage entrepreneurs and startups, the IT contractor is and has been a natural breeding ground for new companies, new ideas, hire one extra person etc..

    IR35 kills that for all but the most dedicated.

    However as a non UK entrepreneur you can get a visa with just 50,000 of funding. HaHa, Bonkers.

    Companies themselves caused the contractor glut as they dumped people on the dole in the early 90s and lost any claim to employee loyalty. I saw this firsthand myself and it was exactly that which drove me to become a contractor.

    Notably companies made an effort to retain people during the last recession (stops competitors from getting them and very expensive to get people back).

    Damage has been done the modern work is heading to flexible working and also a software robot driven replacement of people (ignore people who say this won't happen and watch the insurance industry for how this will play out (call centres excepted for the moment)).

    Tax needs to catch up fast or the tax base will shrink very rapidly from here on out and IR35 is not going to help in any way whatsoever.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not the only reason the projects are late

    As I've recently been working on a few major public projects, most of them are late due to severe project management issues (nobody seems to know what they are actually supposed to be implementing).

    The techs are given incorrect and conflicting information - with the plan changing based on who you talk to.

    There is no slack in the projects - any problems immediately cause knock-on issues.

    Poor initial planning - with no integration between the various components - so I am now waiting for other streams to complete their work before I can then start consuming their implementation to continue my work.

    Ridiculous rules and regulations put in place meaning that I have to get multiple change requests raised and approved to get tiny little bits of work done so that I can actually implement the change that I am supposed to be implementing (DNS entries, group memberships, certificates, update files made available, etc...)

    All of this has made 4 weeks of work take substantially longer - with no real end in sight.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I left due to the uncertainty

    At the end of the day, the company I was contracted to, plus the gov agency themselves all declared us outside of IR35.

    Now, not that I would expect them to but when pressed for whether they'd put their money where their mouths were and offer some kind of indemnity, the answers were inevitably "of course not".

    Which is one of the issues I have with IR35 as a whole - it's too unclear and muddy to begin with.

    I saw my contract out as it ended at the end of March so timed well but I would say I counted 30% of the contract staff walk out before April.

    It does have the knock on effect right now that more and more contractors are chasing the private sector jobs but it'll settle. It always does.

    And yeah, of course HMRC can say without irony "Just increase your day rate by 20% to cover it". After all that raises their tax income and they fund from the public purse annyway (rob Peter to pay Paul, anyone?) so they just don't give a rats ass.

  20. hazz

    All because the lady wanted 50 million

    back of an envelope calculations would suggest that they have managed to get about 20% of their contractors to do as they were told and contribute 50 million to the gov.

    well done, the project I was working on was 3 months away from delivering you a 200+ million a year saving before we almost all left. And were is it now... going nowhere.

    It was all so worth the effort wasn't it... just as you needed to concentrate on Brexit and needed the cash. And you think your going to be able to create an it system to make customer between the uk and eu automagic...

    Given all this post truth government, I'm prepering to leave the country before they hoist this 'success' on the private sector.

    Well done chaps, your a credit to our nation

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: All because the lady wanted 50 million

      Please tell me you at least use a spell checker on your documentation :)

      1. Long John Brass Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: All because the lady wanted 50 million

        Please tell me you at least use a spell checker on your documentation

        Why? It's not as if anyone will ever read it!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: All because the lady wanted 50 million

        Please tell me you at least use a spell spill checker on your documentation

        It wouldn't have helped. The spelling was right but the words were wrong. Another problem was the lack of capitalisation.

  21. Snowy
    Facepalm

    I think not

    So 20% told the truth about why the project was delayed and the 80% pinned the failure on IR35?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think not

      No, 80% of contractors "surveyed" by a company that provides services to contractors said they believe a measure that's bad for contractors was bad for the projects they were working for, as contractors.

      The headline is missing a few of the key clauses above. The impact of the IR35 changes is grossly overstated. Most departments weren't affected and most of the projects that were impacted have converted their resource plans to work in terms of deliverables instead of T&M, which eliminates the IR35 risk.

      Which is a good thing for everyone.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I think not

        "projects that were impacted have converted their resource plans to work in terms of deliverables instead of T&M, which eliminates the IR35 risk."

        And what's the effect of IR35 on the cost of the deliverables?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I think not

          "And what's the effect of IR35 on the cost of the deliverables?"

          As-good-as nothing.

          For one contractors are, with a few exceptions in the secure sector, never a significant proportion of the cost of delivery. If they are then CabO get very, very annoyed because of the delivery risk of having so many freelancers who can fuck off at a moment's notice without penalty.

          Second, this has manifested in most departments as a changing of hats. Three scenarios dominate:

          1) Nothing has happened. This is most common and typical of the big departments. Contractors were indirectly acquired as subs through one of the big SIs as part of a delivery or framework contract (i.e. not T&M). This isolated the department from the new compliance rules so nothing changed for the department or ultimate contractor.

          2) The contractors have shifted to move under a framework agreement or have changed their terms to be delivery-centric. You're only at risk of IR35 if you're working on indefinite T&M terms. Redefine your contracts to align to project deliverables, and audit your compliance with the terms and the IR35 compliance requirement is satisfied.

          3) The freelancers who weren't under deliverable terms and didn't want to move under those terms have left and been replaced by those who are more than happy to take their place.

          Direct, long-term contracting has been extremely rare in the public sector for over a decade now. There is always an intermediate entity, even if it's only Crapita processing your timesheet. The changes to IR35 compliance rules were, in reality, pretty minor and didn't apply to many people.

          Let's look at this in the cold light of day. Cracking down on freelancers is, on balance, probably not a good thing, but this is a "survey" published by a contractor services organisation, quoting a clutch of anonymous, pissed off contractors annoyed by a measure targeting contractors and published on a tabloid website read by those same contractors. Hardly an unbiased report. Back in the real world, IR35-derived resourcing risks don't make it onto any of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority's risk registers, and haven't even been a topic of discussion in the departments I work with.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think not

        "The impact of the IR35 changes is grossly overstated."

        No it isn't.

        "Most departments weren't affected"

        Most that used contractors were massively impacted. Hence why the are now all rolling over and allowing contractors outside IR35 again.

        "and most of the projects that were impacted have converted their resource plans to work in terms of deliverables instead of T&M, which eliminates the IR35 risk."

        i.e. their budgets and timescales went out the window and they are having to pay loads more to get the same level of contractors. So they accept that they are already screwed, hence no risk of being screwed!

        "Which is a good thing for everyone."

        It's a good thing for close to no one.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The tax advantages of being a contractor are only marginal now, what with last year's changes to dividends, capital gains and flat rate vat etc. The main difference in the public sector is being able to charge the market rate, not being tied to paltry pay bands.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The advantages to being a contractor haven't been in the tax for years now. The benefit has been overwhelmingly in the ability to dodge NICs for quite some time now.

      How will we know contracting stops being significantly tax/NI efficient? When contractors stop being contractors.

    2. HmmmYes Silver badge

      Err no.

      You are ignoring the other advantges, other than the lower NI rate.

      My brothers into all this hoohah The only way he can do his job is thatIR35 allows him to take his commute and accommodation costs from his pre-tax pay.

      As a PAYE Id *love* to be able to claim my transport before paying tax.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "You are ignoring the other advantges, other than the lower NI rate...."

        All of which you can get working through an umbrella or an agency, with a shedload less hassle than going direct as a freelancer. I should have been specific. Freelancing is tax efficient because it allows you to dodge NICs. We'll know that advantage is gone when contractors move en masse to umbrellas and agencies, who currently all enforce proper NICs procedures so that they don't get dinged by the revenue themselves.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Errm No, if your brother is inside IR35 then he should not be paying his expenses from pre-tax income. Or have I missed something?

        1. HmmmYes Silver badge

          Yes.

          http://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/contractor_travel_expenses_tax_24_month_rule.aspx

      3. Ahab Returns

        So go contracting if it's that brilliant.

  23. ecofeco Silver badge

    Remind me again why there is no I.T. guild or union?

    A prefect example of the power I.T. professionals wield. Yet for some reason, as a group, we refuse to unite for better conditions.

    So smart yet so stupid.

    I.T. controls the world. Why are we letting everyone+dog screw us? Ayn Rand was utter bollocks you know.

  24. ChrisB 2

    They're probably coming for ALL contractors

    IPSE is extremely concerned that Philip Hammond may be about to launch the biggest attack on the flexible economy since Gordon Brown in 1999 and roll out the disastrous public sector changes in IR35 to the private sector too.

    http://ipse.in/fight-IR35

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019