Ahead of the spring Budget on March 15th, Crawford Temple, CEO of Professional Passport, the UK’s largest independent assessor of payment intermediary compliance is appealing to the Chancellor saying:
"Whilst I don’t expect IR35 to make an appearance on the Chancellor’s agenda, I would urge him to take a long hard look at HMRC’s Check Employment for Status Tool (CEST) and finally recognise that it needs to be withdrawn from use. It must be the most expensive free tool on the market when you look at the eye-watering penalties that Government departments have faced over the last year or so because they used CEST and got the determinations wrong."
"Moreover, whilst getting those determinations wrong it has unfairly pushed contractors into PAYE roles as well as into umbrella working against their will. Some of those workers have also been duped into signing up for dodgy disguised remuneration schemes purporting to be umbrellas and the Government has been slow to take visible action to shut such schemes down. With plans shelved to introduce a Single Enforcement Body, it is more vital than ever that the Government now demonstrates its commitment to stamping out non-compliance and malpractice in our industry – more resources and investment are needed if we are to clean up an industry that continues to attract negative headlines."
"All told, the Off-payroll legislation and CEST have caused mayhem for the contracting workforce and hirers who have all been unfairly penalised as a result. HMRC needs to hold up its hands and admit that CEST is flawed, has been an abject failure, and must be ditched."