Calls for Off-Payroll Revamp Escalate as IT Contractor and HMRC Remain in Decade-Long IR35 Dispute

IT contractor Richard Alcock has been involved in a decade-long dispute with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) over IR35 regulations, which determine whether contractors should pay tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) as permanent employees. HMRC claims that Alcock owes over £240,000 in unpaid tax and NICs for work he carried out between 2010 and 2015. However, in October 2019, a First-Tier Tribunal ruled in Alcock’s favor, stating that he operated outside IR35. HMRC appealed the ruling, leading to the case being heard by the Upper Tribunal in December 2023. The Upper Tribunal remitted the case back to the First-Tier Tribunal due to insufficient evidence. As a result of the ongoing legal battle, Alcock’s company, RALC Consulting, is on the brink of insolvency. The case highlights the negative impact of IR35 on the contracting sector and the need for reform, according to industry experts. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) and IR35 compliance firm Qdos have called for the scrapping of IR35 regulations.

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