Concilium Seach has taken measures to ‘protect’ itself against legislation which will drastically affect the way the industry engages with contractors in 2020. Richard Ogbogbo, chief operating officer at the London-based recruiter which specialises in life sciences, industrials, IT and management consulting, said his company is ensuring it is ‘ahead of the game’ before new IR35 rules are introduced next year.
Mr. Ogbogbo has warned it is imperative that recruitment agencies prepare themselves for the legislative changes otherwise they could be faced with tax bills of potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds for incorrect IR35 decisions that have been made by their end clients.
From April, 2020, the responsibility for assessing IR35 status will be passed from contractors to the medium and large sized private sector businesses that engage these workers. These ‘off payroll’ reforms were enforced in the public sector in April, 2017.
IR35, also known as Intermediaries Legislation, was first introduced in April 2000 to tackle tax avoidance by workers and their employers, who are supplying their services to clients via an intermediary, such as a limited company, who would otherwise be an employee if the intermediary was not used. The proposed changes to IR35 will affect recruitment agencies who supply workers through intermediaries, such as people with significant control (PSCs), and medium and end user clients who use the services of ‘off-payroll’ workers.
“The latest changes to IR35 will significantly impact the recruitment industry so it is vital agencies understand the new rules ahead of next year’s roll out so they can make accurate status decisions and protect themselves,” said Ogbogbo. “HMRC have stated that if a client hasn’t taken ‘reasonable care’ when setting IR35 status that liability will be passed on to the recruitment agency regardless of whether they are the fee payer or not.
“HMRC have been crystal clear that if a contractor falls inside the IR35 bracket, then they must be placed onto the employer’s payroll with income tax and National Insurance being deducted,” he added.
Ogbogbo revealed Concilium Search had already began reviewing its contractors and insists the company will be fully compliant ahead of next year’s roll-out.
“At Concilium Search, we are getting ahead of the game and making significant changes to our recruitment procedure to ensure that we follow the proposed changes to IR35,” he said. “We have started to review our current contractors in order to identify if their IR35 status now is correct. If this is found to be incorrect, then as a recruiter, we will be required to administer the IR35 status decision, deduct National Insurance Income Tax in-house and report to HMRC.
“By implementing these considerable changes from the offset, by the time April 2020 comes around, all Concilium Search contractors will be fully compliable with IR35.”