Angry contractors are mobilising in response to the Inland Revenue's plans to crack down on single person companies.
The British Computer Society's contractors group is preparing suggested modifications which would exempt IT contractors from the new legislation proposed for this autumn.
A Treasury Budget statement last month said the government wanted to make individuals working through single person companies pay the same taxes as permanent staff - a move some contractors estimate would take 25 per cent of their income in extra taxes.
The BCS's contractors' group chairman, Mike Cullen, said of the proposal: "It flies in the face of the government's aims of encouraging entrepreneurs."
He added that two contractor companies would apparently be exempt from the plans. "Perhaps people should pair up," he joked.
A letter on contractor Andy White's website, at www.engineerjob.com, from the Inland Revenue said the legislation was not aimed at the IT sector and that the Revenue will meet with representative bodies over the next few months.
The Revenue has invited the BCS and recruitment agencies to attend meetings, but has set no initial date for consultations. It said individuals will not be invited to participate.
Recruiters have also criticised the government. Bryan Lloyd, managing director of Spring IT Personnel, said: "The plans are very woolly at the moment."
Tax consultant Giant Group is setting up a campaign, Forum 2000, to present a single industry view to the government.
For further stories see 8 April issue of Computing
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