IR35 reforms taking their toll on skilled contractors

One in ten highly skilled freelancers are currently out of work due to the impact of reforms to IR35 tax legislation, according to research published by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).

IPSE's survey of more than 1,300 contractors in highly skilled roles found that 21% are not currently working, with half of them attributing this to the impact of reforms to IR35 tax rules.

Meanwhile, 55% of contractors said they had rejected an offer of work in the past 12 months due to it being deemed 'inside IR35' by the client. Furthermore, 24% said they intend to seek contracts overseas this year to escape the rules.

Andy Chamberlain, IPSE's Policy Director, said:

'Three years later, the off-payroll rules are still keeping thousands of highly skilled individuals out of work. It's staggering that the Chancellor is happy for this to continue at a time when economic inactivity is one of his biggest concerns.

'Our findings show that contractors want to prioritise clients who are willing to hire them on a freelance basis, and happy to walk away from those who won't – even if this means not working at all.

'The blame for this impasse doesn't rest with clients – it rests with the culture of fear that is propagated by the IR35 rules. This is a damning legacy for a Chancellor who claims to be on the side of business.'

Internet links: IPSE website

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