Tax rule change delayed

CHANGES to the UK tax-person's "IR35" taxation rules are now postponed until 6 April 2021. This follows determined lobbying on behalf of self-employed people and small businesses in the light of the coronavirus emergency. It provides some temporary breathing space for casuals.

The changes would see every medium and large business in the UK become responsible for correctly setting the tax status of any contract worker who invoices for their services through a limited company or legal partnership. They caused panic among media outlets that use regular casuals.

As we heard at the March London Freelance Branch meeting, which discussed working casual shifts, some such outlets hurried to put their casuals on PAYE as staffers - and rather more just cancelled casuals' work.

Meanwhile, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC, the tax people) have opened an "HMRC coronavirus line" for the self-employed affected by the pandemic. It's on 0030 456 3565.