April Fool Hoax
I hope you realised that our IR35 story on April 1st was an April Fool hoax.
It was a bit over the top but the date should have told you.
We said that the government was changing the iR35 rules so that any contractor who ran a one-man company, whose main product was selling his or her own services and who normally operated at a client‘s site was now caught by IR35.
That, of course, would mean that IR35 would catch virtually all IT contractors.
Ridiculous isn‘t it?
I also played an April Fool‘s Day joke on my 18-year-old daughter that day.
Her cousin Cassie has just turned 18 and has just started going out with a guy of 24 who is a musician and a sailor.
My daughter didn‘t approve of her going out with an older man and wasn‘t too pleased about it.
I had met the guy, James, out on Friday night. I talked to him about playing at an event I was organising which he was keen on.
He is going back to sea for 3 months soon and I wanted to organise it before he went.
On April Fools‘ day I told my daughter that ‘I was talking to James in the pub on Friday night where he was playing. He told me that he and Cassie are getting engaged before he goes back to sea’.
My daughter said ‘I don‘t believe it’ but looked as if she might.
She was in contact with her cousin Cassie soon after and my daughter told me ‘Cassie said that no one was supposed to know about her engagement. Don‘t tell Aunt Kate about it (my sister)’.
I wondered at first if she was trying to get me back. However, later on in the day I asked her if she wanted to play an April Fool on her mother and she said she hadn‘t realised it was April Fools‘ Day. She thought it was April 4th.
So, my sister, who is my book keeper, was down with me today and I wasn‘t able to tell her that I knew her daughter just turned 18 was about to get engaged to a guy of 24 that she has only been going out with for a few weeks.
Although that may be interesting, it isn‘t really relevant to IT Contractors.
IR35 Hoax Turned Out True
However, it set me thinking.
What if our IR35 hoax turned out to be right too.
The government turned down the abolition of IR35 recently. They stated that it would chase contractors out of Umbrella Companies and into Limited Companies. Those contractors pay 10 grand more tax and NICs on average. They said in the recent Budget that they are going to strengthen IR35 and appoint extra compliance officers when they are chopping staff elsewhere. They are about to release an online questionnaire to show contractors whether they are at risk of being caught by IR35.
Stopping Contractors Leaving Umbrella Companies
The government wants to stop contractors leaving Umbrella Companies and going to Limited Companies. They have threatened to punish agencies who try to get them to do so. They will make the agencies liable for the lost tax, They might they go further and legislate to make more contractors go into Umbrella Companies. They might, at least, scare them into doing so?
Will this year‘s IR35 April Fool hoax turn out to be the truth – just like niece Cassie‘s little secret?