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challenging reforms to IR35

We Must Keep Challenging Reforms to IR35

Some 88% of contractors don’t believe public sector bodies or recruitment agencies can make accurate decisions on their IR35 status without their input, according to new research from the contractor insurance company Qdos Contractor.


Given that recent reforms to IR35 mean responsibility for determining IR35 status has been shifted from the individual contractor to the public sector body that pays them, this research, reported in Small Business magazine, further underlines the extent to which the industry believes the reforms are poorly conceived.

Commenting on the findings, Qdos Contractor CEO Seb Malley, said: “How can one make a well-informed, accurate decision on a contractor’s employment status without consulting what is undoubtedly the most vital component, the contractor?”


Here at Contracting Scout, we agree. As we’ve noted before, previous Qdos Contractor research has shown the vast majority of contractors want a fairer tax system and that IR35 reforms make up their main work worry. We’ve also noted that there have been covert attempts to make contractors unwittingly responsible for being wrongly declared outside IR35 and that the reforms will limit opportunities for contractors, such as in the case of TfL which implemented a blanket ban on limited company contractors.


It’s because of all of these things that we were disappointed by the news that IT contractor Mike Gibson, who launched a fundraiser to challenge the reforms in court, has conceded that a legal challenge is unlikely to be successful. The good news, according to the report in Contractor UK, is he is determined to continue challenging the reforms and move onto other options to get it overturned, if necessary.

“As I have said several times, I do not care how we get IR35 changed. Just as long as we do,” he said. “Our route may change but the destination remains the same.”

He is currently exploring what’s already been challenged, and is seeking personal stories to show how this law hurts contractors. Contractors who would be happy for their experiences of IR35 to be included in a possible publicity campaign are invited to email these to Mike.

It’s good to know the industry will continue to fight for a more common-sense attitude to IR35. We’ll keep monitoring challenges like these to IR35, and report on any progress in pushing the government to rethink their approach.


In the meantime, you can download our guide to the IR35 reforms, which discusses what the changes might mean for you and how you can avoid being unnecessarily affected.