Off-payroll working guidance updated, ahead of the implementation of the new rules from 6 April 2021

21 September 2020

In order to assist organisations to prepare for the off-payroll working rules, which will be introduced from 6 April 2021, there is a wealth of information available. There is guidance on the topic on Gov.UK, and HMRC is also resuming its customer education and support programme.

The guidance gives details relating to how the rules should be applied, and gives a variety of examples, following on from feedback given by trade bodies and industry representatives.  The Employment Status Manual has also been updated with further technical guidance. There is more, in-depth information within guidance on the topics of statutory payments, appropriate wording for clients to utilise when confirming their size, and the use of recovery from other persons provisions. Both sets of guidance have been updated to incorporate the final legislation of the Finance Act 2020.

HMRC has conducted an internal evaluation of the substantial amount of support that was provided prior to the reform being delayed. There were, in total, 2,000 educational calls to the largest organisations, ten webinars held, and 40,000 educational letters circulated. HMRC intends to provide even more extensive education and support and will focus on the customers in sectors that are most impacted by the changes, and also the customers who have the greatest support needs. Webinars will be delivered for organisations and contractors later this month, starting from 13 October 2020 for organisations, with contractor webinars later in the month. There will be webinars focusing on key topics, including international supply chains, fee-payer responsibilities, making determinations, and engagements affected by the rules.

HMRC will be organising workshops, tailored to certain sectors and customer groups, and contacting customers identified as having the greatest needs, using educational calls. There will also be extra resources for contractors, along with communications resources which stakeholders can share with their customers. An education and support sheet is due to be published shortly, which will detail more about the help that will be provided, with signposts to the different educational resources. HMRC has confirmed that it will continue to work closely with stakeholders to ensure that the education programme is as helpful as possible.

The Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool is available to use when making determinations, and can be used ahead of the new rules being implemented. HMRC maintains that it will stand by the outcome provided by the tool, provided it is completed accurately and in accordance with guidance.


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