Scottish Contractors IR35 Independence Escape Route

Scottish Contractors IR35
Scottish Contractors IR35

Scottish Contractors IR35 Escape Path

It looks as if there may be a Scottish contractors IR35 escape route.

Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party have long been against IR35, and Alex Salmond before her.

They also opposed the Tories when they ruled that Umbrella Company contractors could no longer claim Travel and Subsistence expenses.

Abolition of IR35 in Scotland

So, would independence cause the abolition of IR35 across the border in a couple of years time?

The SNP told Shout99 a few years back:-

“We recognise the fundamental problems with the tax measure. Primarily we see it as discriminating in favour of large consultancies.

“This could have a serious long-term impact on the Scottish economy by discouraging participation in the IT industry and knowledge-based industries. These are the very industries this Government say they are so keen to promote.”

Hear, Hear!

They continued ‘We are very sympathetic to its (IR35) repeal. We have particularly concerns about IT contractors losing the rights of staff members whilst still asking them to make the same contributions.’

Umbrella Company Contractors Travel and Subsistence Expenses

They were very much against the Tories taking away umbrella companies right to offset travel and subsistence expenses against tax.

Indeed, they tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill forcing the Chancellor to review how this affected contractors.

A spokesman told Prism that the T&S changes would have” significant and far-reaching consequences for both contractors and the economy if they are not overhauled”.

He cited the example of offshore oil and gas contractors on North Sea oil rigs who would have to fly to Aberdeen to work there. Now, they would have to pay their expenses for their plane journeys getting there, which is unfair.

Government Getting IR35 Wrong

Their spokesman told Prism

“This is about the fourteenth change that has been made to the legislation in not all that many years.

“The fact that the Government keeps enforcing these IR35 changes without ever getting it right is surely a reflection of their lack of understanding of the modern labour market.”

Very true!

He ended, “The Government seems to think we’re still living in the 1950s where people are either traditionally employed, or they’re self-employed and in business for themselves.”

Opposed to IR35 Tax Laws

There’s probably no party more against IR35 than the SNP.

So, there may be a Scottish Contractors IR35 independence route opening.

If the referendum does go ahead, and Independence wins, there could be a contractor friendly Government north of the border.

Maybe we will see companies who use contractors, and IT Contractors themselves, move there.

They can leave behind those mean spirits who constantly hit contractors in the pocket and make it harder for them to operate.


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It’s just like other umbrella companies in that the contractor is an employee of Simply Umbrella but they get to keep far more of their money than through an ordinary umbrella company.

It could be a great solution for both public sector contractors IR35 problems and indeed any contractor.

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