The Office of Tax Simplification’s call for a task force with the job of coming up with a universal definition for employment status will be met, Treasury secretary David Gauke has confirmed.
A departmental letter made the announcement that is likely to be welcomed by both freelance contractors and those working in the UK accountancy sector on their behalf.
A simple replacement for the seven different factors that are currently taken into account to judge employment status by the courts would save time and money.
However, there is still some doubt as to how quickly any decision could be made.
Tax policy editor at AccountingWEB Rebecca Cave commented: “If you talk to anybody who has worked in the Treasury, trying to get different departments to talk to each other is extremely difficult.”
“The silo mentality of the people who work in those departments is amazing,” she added.
Gauke’s letter said that the IOTS will soon be granted a permanent statutory basis but also recognised that the self employment proposals won’t be easy, as some hard choices will have to be made.
The Treasury, HMRC and the pensions and business departments will need to co-operate closely, but the question of a casting vote is still up for grabs.
John Whiting, tax director of the OTS, said: "That's a big question for David Gauke to consider."
"Hopefully the OTS will be given a chance to partake in the process - but the big thing is that it’s moving forward," he added.
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