The Conservatives this week pledged to "undertake a full and fundamental review of small business taxation, including IR35", in a move which could be good for IT freelancers.
IR35 has long been opposed as grossly unfair by self-employed workers because it prevents them from setting up their own company and therefore being allowed to claim back tax on things like travel.
The regime has been challenged in the courts on numerous occasions since its introduction in 2000 as a way to close a previous loophole in the tax laws, but so far to no avail, despite warnings from many that it would affect IT freelancers severely.
However, shadow business minister Mark Prisk has now released a statement branding IR35 "over-complex, uncertain and often unfair" and arguing that it has cost business £73m over 10 years but has "barely raised" any revenue for the Treasury.
"For the last 13 years, Labour have constantly meddled with the tax rules for freelancers and self-employed," Prisk said.
"This is why a Conservative government would mandate the independent Office of Tax Simplification to undertake a fundamental review of current arrangements with the aim of providing a clearer, lasting and fairer tax regime."
Potentially good news for the IT freelancer market and by implication the industry as a whole, then. However, with a hung parliament looking increasingly likely, it could be some time yet before this hugely contentious tax regime is reviewed
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