IR35 Compliance/non-compliance Statements Made by HMRC

Waiting for an internal review by HM Revenue and Customs of their handling of this request.

Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Regarding IR35 (off-payroll), in numerous statements and publications, not least https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk..., HMRC state:

"The rules have been in place since 2000, but non-compliance is widespread. HMRC estimate that only 10% of those who should be applying the rules do so..."

Please can you supply the basis for these statements. Please supply evidence, research or other information that relates to:

1) "non-compliance is widespread"
1.1) On what basis is compliance measured? In other words, what constitutes non-compliance and how is it measured?

2) "only 10% of those who should be applying the rules do so"
2.1) How many entities are there in this estimate?
2.2) How many were found to be applying the rules?
2.3) How was the need to apply the rules or not ascertained or estimated for the remainder?

Yours faithfully,

Ralph Bolton

foi.team@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of FOI Team, HM Revenue and Customs

Our ref: FOI2020/00161

Dear Ralph Bolton,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Acknowledgement

Thank you for your communication of 23rd January which has been passed to
HMRC's Freedom of Information Team.

We have allocated the above reference which you should quote if you need
to contact us.

The Team will arrange for a reply to be sent to you which will either
comply with HMRC's obligations under Freedom of Information Act or, if we
think it's an enquiry that we don't need to address under the terms of the
Act, let you know why. If it is the latter we will, if possible, pass it
on to a more appropriate part of the Department for answer.

Yours sincerely

HMRC Freedom of Information Act Team

foi.team@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of FOI Team, HM Revenue and Customs

1 Attachment

Dear Ralph Bolton,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 23rd
January.

Yours sincerely,

HMRC Freedom of Information Team

Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of HM Revenue and Customs's handling of my FOI request 'IR35 Compliance/non-compliance Statements Made by HMRC'.

The off-payroll rules (IR35)'s very existence is based on the premise that permanent employees are being paid as contractors. The changes to those rules, proposed for April 2020, have used the justification that "non compliance is widespread" on many occasions, both to the House of Commons, individual MPs and to the public at large.

Since this statement is both very strongly indicating a problem, and since it has been used so extensively, and because the application of IR35 is changing so fundamentally, I believe it is most definitely in the public interest to publish the details of the basis of the statement.

As an analogy, one could not say "that man is a criminal" without providing some evidence of his wrongdoing. Simply saying "to provide that evidence would prejudice his trial" would be farcical. At least outline information about the alleged crimes would be both right and proper to disclose. Without doing so, the accuser has no credibility, and save for the fact they were a public authority would gain no support for their accusations, much less be able to base future laws upon it.

As such, HMRC simply must make the basis for this statement public. Failure to do so would harm the public interest, trust in HMRC and would render HMRC an arbitrary accuser with no substance. I would remind you that trust is an integral part of a functioning tax system.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

Ralph Bolton

foi.team@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of FOI Team, HM Revenue and Customs

Our ref: IR2020/00415

Dear Ralph Bolton,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Acknowledgement

Thank you for your communication of 21st February which has been passed to
HMRC's Freedom of Information Team.

We have allocated the above reference which you should quote if you need
to contact us.

The Team will arrange for a reply to be sent to you which will either
comply with HMRC's obligations under Freedom of Information Act or, if we
think it's an enquiry that we don't need to address under the terms of the
Act, let you know why. If it is the latter we will, if possible, pass it
on to a more appropriate part of the Department for answer.

Yours sincerely

HMRC Freedom of Information Act Team