New UK employment tax rules apply from 6 April 2021 when engaging contractors in the UK through intermediaries such as personal service companies. These rules are often referred to as “IR35” or “off-payroll worker rules” and require workers to be assessed under a number of indicators to determine if they are genuinely in business or really just an employee.
The change in the rules shift the responsibility for making the determination from the worker to the “end engager” and requires policy and process to be maintained. Non-UK resident engagers and agencies are not currently subject to the rules however, they may be part of a supply chain that will have to implement the new rules and should therefore be aware of the changes. New tax costs will arise for fee payers, (the last entity in the supply chain which makes the payment to the contractors intermediary) who is obliged to operate payroll taxes where the worker falls under the new rules. These additional costs may be pushed up or down the supply chain along with requests for detailed information from the end engager in order for an assessment to be made.