Editor's message: The Government is postponing the reforms to IR35 in the private sector to 6 April 2021, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Government had intended to introduce the IR35 reforms from 6 April 2020, bringing the requirements in the private sector in line with those in the public sector.
IR35 (also known as the "intermediaries legislation") is likely to apply where an individual provides their services to a client via an intermediary such as a personal service company (an arrangement known as "off-payroll working"), but the relationship with the client would otherwise suggest employment status. If IR35 does apply, the intermediary must operate PAYE and deduct income tax and national insurance contributions on salary paid to the individual.
Since April 2017, where the client is in the public sector, it has responsibility for determining if IR35 applies where the individual provides their services via an intermediary. If they would otherwise be regarded as an employee if the arrangement was not through their intermediary, the public-sector client must make PAYE deductions.
The Government intended to introduce the same requirements on private-sector clients from 6 April 2020 (although small businesses would have been exempt). When the reforms are introduced from 6 April 2021, the client receiving the off-payroll workers' services will be responsible for deciding the individual's status and operating IR35, rather than the individual who is being engaged.
Clio Springer, senior employment law editor
Changes to the IR35 off-payroll working rules in the private sector have been delayed by 12 months in response to the growing business uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
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HR and legal information and guidance relating to IR35.