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IR35 activists lose – again

Judicial review rejected

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The Court of Appeal today rejected the judicial review for IR35 sought by the Professional Contractors Group (PCG).

One would think that this would mark the end of the PCG's crusade to overturn IR35, a ruling that extends employee status, and hence more burdensome income tax requirements, to 90,000+ previously self-employed contractors.

But no, the PCG has got the lobbying bit in its teeth and it vows to carry on fighting. In a message posted on its web site, PCG chairwoman Jane Akshar says: "The judicial review was one part of our overall strategy but was not the whole part. It represented one possible knock-out blow for this unfair legislation. The court has found that IR35 is not illegal, but that is not to say it is right or fair. Tens of thousands of small businesses have to try to operate with the uncertainty and unfairness of it and the PCG will continue to do all we can to remove this unfair burden on small business.

"For the past few months, we have been preparing to launch a series of legal test cases, which will establish case law where there is currently a vacuum. We will drive through case law which is relevant to the way knowledge-based businesses, such as IT and engineering, operate in the 21st century, rather than the 'upstairs, downstairs' rules which belong in the 19th century and are currently in use by the Inland Revenue." ®

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