Contractors Should Have IR35 Opinion Poll to Gauge Effect on Their Votes

IR35 Opinion Poll
IR35 Opinion Poll for contractors

IR35 Opinion Poll

It would be a good idea if contractors would have an IR35 opinion poll to show the effect on contractors voting intentions since the IR35 changes were put in place. The Conservative Government is showing no sympathy to contractors over this issue. This is no doubt due to advice to them from the big consultancies. They have always seen contractor as rivals. They would much rather companies hire fresh young graduates from them at two thousand a day rather than experienced contractors at 500 a day.

Contractors Questions on an IR35 Opinion Poll

Here are some questions that contractors would have on an IR35 opinion poll:-

Why are the Conservatives making these IR35 changes?

How many contractors do the Conservatives believe to be caught by IR35?

How many contractors pas HMRC’s IR35 online test?

What can be done to change the Government’s mind on IR35?

What would an IR35 Opinion Poll ask?

Who could run this IR35 opinion poll?

When should the IR35 opinion poll be held?

Why are the Conservatives Making These IR35 changes?

Both Prime Minister Theresa May and Philip Hammond said that ‘it is an anomaly that self employed people earning 100,000 a year pay less tax than employees earning 100,000 a year.

Note that they are referring to all freelancers here and not just those who fail the Check Employment Status for Tax test which purports to show which contractors are inside and outside IR35. So, if they don’t get you this time they will next time.

How Many Contractors Do the Conservatives Believe to be Caught by IR35?

Earlier this month, in a Parliamentary Reply, Treasury Minister Jess Norman said, in answer to a question on IR35, that there is ‘only 10% of compliance in this area’. My hunch is that the 10% of contractors that he believes to be compliant are not what they would think of as freelancers as businesses on their own account but the 10% who are already caught by IR35. They are likely to be:-

  • those already caught by IR35
  • those freelancers working in the public sector who have been adjudged to be inside IR35 after a CEST IR35 test
  • those contractors who come under blanket IR35 bans in the public sector.

So, in other words, he believes that all contractors not already caught by IR35 are non-compliant. That must be he inference.

How Many Contractors pass HMRC’s IR35 Online Test?

54% of contractors pass it, 31% fail and the other 15% are indeterminable.

So, as 54% of those who sit the Check Employment Status for Tax test pass it does that mean that the Government will now leave those ones alone?

That would not completely fix Theresa May’s ‘anomaly’. It would still leave 54% of contractors as ‘non-compliant’ as Jesse Norman sees it. So, my guess is that there will be further shocks to come for contractors.

What Can be Done to Change the Government’s Mind on IR35?

So, as this Government are not sympathetic at all to freelancers, what can be done?

The one thing that all MPs fear most is losing their seats. The Conservatives got elected in 2010 after promising freelancers verbally that they would abolish IR35. However, their manifesto just said that they would look at it again. When they came to power they did look at it again and decided not only to keep it but that they would strengthen it. And they’ve been doing this ever since and will continue to do so.

So, it would be useful to have some indicator on how contractors voting intentions have changed since the Conservatives came to power.

What Would an IR35 Opinion Poll Ask

I would ask:-

  • who did you vote for in 2010
  • who did you vote for at the last election in 2017
  • who would you vote for if there was an election now

I would also ask what was the main factor in contractors changing their voting intentions.

Who Could Run This IR35 Opinion Poll?

So, who could hold this opinion poll?

  • Contractors group IPSE
  • An agency polling its freelancers
  • An accountancy group or umbrella company polling its members

When Should the IR35 Opinion Poll Be Held?

It should be done very, very quickly as the Government intends publishing their IR35 plan in less than a week. Indeed it would be good if this opinion poll showed the Conservatives losing several marginal seats. That would make them sit up and concentrate. But time is very short.

If you know anyone who could run this IR35 opinion poll of their members, like an agency or accountancy firm, please show them this article. I’m sure an article on the results would get national publicity.

If you know anyone else who would find this article useful, please share it with them using the social media buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

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