GSK Contractors accused of working outside IR35

Almost 1,500 contractors at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have received letters from HMRC accusing them of being inside IR35 for the 2018/19 tax year

The recipients have been told they have until September 19th to either agree with HMRC’s assessment and make a ‘deemed payment’ for their work at the pharmaceutical giant, or disagree but give reasons. It has been reported that HMRC sent identical letters last week to contractors working in various departments of pharmaceutical company GSK, including IT and biomedical sciences.

HMRC is working off the basis that these contractors are guilty until proven innocent. At this stage, none of these contractors’ actual working practices have been reviewed. Without doing so, it’s impossible for HMRC to say with confidence that contractors are in the wrong.

Contractors have been urged to seek expert advice regarding their IR35 compliance.

This latest news will add to the criticism of the new IR35 reforms which are targeting the private sector.