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The Latest IR35 Update and what the Changes Entail


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak last year, the UK Government announced that the IR35 reforms would be delayed for a year and come into force in April 2021. With the date for change now set as 6 April 2021, – less than a month away- we explore in this article what the changes entail.

What are the changes?

From 6 April 2021, the IR35 tax rules will be extended to medium and large businesses. This means that all public sector and medium or large private sector businesses that engage individual contractors through personal service companies (PSCs) will be responsible for reviewing and deciding on their correct employment status. If the new off-payroll working rules apply then a contractor’s wages will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions.

What is considered a medium and large business?

For IR35 purposes, all businesses will be classed medium and large businesses unless they have two or more of the following attributes:

  • not more than 50 employees
  • a turnover of not more than £10.2 million
  • a balance sheet of not more than £5.1 million

All companies are also classified as ‘small’, rather than medium or large, in their first financial year.

What does this mean in practice?

If the way in which a contractor is working indicates that they aren’t genuinely self-employed but should in fact be classed as an employee or worker, then the companies engaging them will be responsible for deducting tax and national insurance contributions on the payment made to the PSC. This shifts the legal responsibility from the PSC (as is the case under the current rules) to the engaging company. Businesses which fail to comply with the new rules, and fail to deduct tax at source for contractors who HMRC deems should be brought on-payroll, will face significant tax liabilities and penalties.

Businesses will also need to provide a “determination statement” to those of their contractors who are working through a PSC, setting out what the business has determined their employment status to be and why.

What should businesses do to prepare?

As a first step towards complying with the new rules, medium and large organisations should carry out a review of the terms and conditions of their contractors who are engaged through a PSC in order to determine whether they can still be classified as self-employed. Businesses that use contractors through agencies should also liaise with those agencies as part of this exercise. They will then need to consider whether any of their contractors will need to be brought on-payroll.


For employment law or HR queries, get in touch with the team at Darwin


Darwin Gray is a commercial law firm based in Cardiff. We are proud of our reputation for using a practical and solution-focused approach when helping our clients.

We have a strong team ethic, putting approachability, consistency and quality at the heart of everything we do. Your business will always be at the forefront of our minds, whilst ensuring you also receive excellent value for money.

We specialise in a number of commercial areas, including:
– Commercial Property
– Franchising
– Corporate and Commercial
– Employment and HR
– Intellectual Property
– Social Housing
– Data and Data Protection
– Dispute Resolution
– Insolvency
– Construction

Our work reflects our values; we are genuinely friendly people who are approachable and accessible to our clients. The Darwin Gray approach is thorough and careful, but we are also known for reacting quickly when it matters and providing creative solutions to whatever challenge our clients are facing, drawing on our rich and varied experience.

We endeavour to prevent problems as well as solve them, and would love to get to know you and your business.


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