What Contractors Need to Know About IR35: Tax and NIC Implications
As a contractor, understanding the tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) implications of IR35 is essential. IR35, also known as the ‘off-payroll working rules,’ was introduced in 2000 to tackle what HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) viewed as a tax avoidance tactic used by contractors. It aims to ensure that contractors working through an intermediary, such as a limited company or a personal service company (PSC), pay the same amount of tax and NIC as an employee.
In April 2021, the IR35 rules were extended to the private sector, making it even more important for contractors to understand their tax and NIC obligations. This blog post aims to provide an overview of the tax and NIC implications of IR35 for contractors.
Firstly, it’s important to understand whether you fall inside or outside of IR35. If you are deemed inside IR35, it means that HMRC considers you to be an employee for tax purposes, and you will need to pay tax and NIC at the same rate as an employee. If you are outside of IR35, you can continue to work through your limited company or PSC and pay tax and NIC at the rates applicable to you.
To determine your IR35 status, you must carry out a status determination statement (SDS). This involves assessing your working practices, contractual terms, and the overall nature of your engagement. The SDS should be carried out by the end client or the recruitment agency, depending on who pays your limited company or PSC.
In conclusion, understanding the tax and NIC implications of IR35 is essential for contractors. If you are inside IR35, you will need to pay income tax and NIC on your deemed employment income, while if you are outside IR35, you can continue to pay yourself a combination of salary and dividends. It’s important to carry out an SDS to determine your IR35 status and ensure that your working practices and contractual terms reflect that of a genuine contractor. Finally, it’s worth noting that end clients and recruitment agencies are taking a cautious approach when determining IR35 status, which may result in some contractors being deemed inside IR35 even if they are genuinely self-employed.