By Jonathan London on 22nd December 2014

IPSE speaks out about new HMRC reporting regulations

Following HM Revenue & Customs’ new draft regarding reporting regulations on independent professionals, a number of bodies, including the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), have spoken out.

The proposal from HMRC asks that company directors report personal information to agencies as well as HMRC itself. The information needs to be offered on a quarterly basis and includes gender, age and National Insurance numbers and follows the ‘onshore intermediaries’ legislation that HMRC brought into play earlier this year.

While there are obvious obligations which company directors do have, IPSE has voiced its concerns regarding this and in particular the effect it will have on freelancers who subcontract.

Simon McVicker, director of policy and external affairs at IPSE: The new rules mean that a freelancer who wants to sub-contract a piece of work out to another self-employed person will not only have to register the details of their peer with HMRC, but will be forced to continue reporting on this person for a full three years after the work is completed.…

This essentially takes away from the flexibility that being a freelancer offers and causes issues when it comes to projects which are taken due to the fact that they are supposed to be short term.

These new measures threaten to stifle this vital component of Britain’s economic growth just as it begins to gain momentum,… Mr McVicker added.

Alongside the disruptions to freelancing that the proposals may cause, IPSE highlighted the data security threats that may also arise from it.

The information being collected, stored and reported is very sensitive. Unless this is done securely, it will be place thousands of independent professionals at risk of data theft. Ironically, the risk is so serious that the Government’s own advice is to avoid sharing this information with anyone,… Mr McVicker stated.

Of course, in an age where we are told how imperative it is that we ensure all our data and information is securely held, this does seem to pose a risk.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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