Finance (No.2) Bill

Written evidence submitted by a person who wishes to remain anonymous (FB11)

Finance Bill (no.2) Disguised Remuneration

Dear Committee Members,

I am a contractor in banking and have been now for a number of years.

The Finance Bill (no.2), if implemented as is, will introduce a twenty year retrospective charge that will make me bankrupt.

I was employed as a contractor with an umbrella company who assured me they were compliant with IR35. They told me that their tax arrangement was lawful, HMRC compliant and QC approved. In fact as recently as last year I received an email from them assuring me of their compliance.

I trusted them to pay all taxes due via PAYE.

Now, I have been told HMRC are not happy with this arrangement and they have opened an enquiry into my tax affairs. I am very frightened by what I have been reading and by what other contractors are telling me about APNs and the sums HMRC estimate is owed. These sums are life changing amounts to ordinary workers like myself.

HMRC have told me this type of tax arrangement was always considered "not to the letter of the law", but this is not what I was advised when I entered the arrangement. If HMRC knew about these arrangements why did they do nothing for years and years? They have allowed me to build up debt without me knowing and being able to take any action on it.

There are still some websites marketing these arrangements to this day. They claim their product is compliant and QC approved, and because there is no regulation of the Umbrella Company market, more contractors are being misled and mis sold these dangerous products.

I am not a wealthy person, this situation has led to a lot of stress on me and on my family, not least because I have only just had a baby and I am very worried about our future. I’ll admit in my darkest hours to having considered drastic action just so they are safe. This issue is the first thing I think of in the morning and last thing at night. It’s a cloud over me that shadows absolutely everything I do and affects everyday life. I understand that times have moved on and using these arrangements is not acceptable any more but I can’t go back in time and change my actions.

I am asking you to give careful consideration to the introduction of this charge as it is currently written and to support a fair settlement for me and the other contractors (I believe HMRC have estimated 40,000 individuals are impacted) that will not devastate us, in order that we can move on with our lives.

Thank you for reading, please consider what I have said. I would be very grateful if you could keep my name private and unpublished.

Kind regards,

January 2018


Prepared 10th January 2018