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SEISS, IR35 & Bounce Back Loans: Rishi Sunak urged to 'nurture' self-employed in Budget

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Self-employed workers have had to deal with many changes during this pandemic and additional alterations are due over the coming months. In light of this, backinbusiness.org.uk has written to Rishi Sunak and outlined costed policies that would “rebuild small businesses and the self-employed sector to secure our economic future.”

On top of this, they also urge the Government at large to outline where they see the new jobs and businesses developing in the UK.

Liz concluded with the following: “We strongly believe that taking account of these recommendations in full, will demonstrate that the Government recognises the invaluable contribution of the business community we represent, and will ensure the Budget is a roadmap to small business growth, our national economic recovery, and the fulfilling of the levelling-up agenda.”

As it stands, off-payroll working rules (IR35) will be altered from April 6, which means public and private sector companies will be responsible for deciding their worker’s employment status and tax arrangements.

Additionally, Bounce Back Loan repayments will start being due after the initial 12 months of payments, which may begin to affect early claimants from May 2021.

The organisation backinbusiness.org.uk is also not the only organisation who have called on the state to extend SEISS support, with the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) reiterating the need to expand it’s criteria today.

In their own calls issued today, IPSE also urged the Chancellor not to hit the self-employed with tax changes, a route Rishi is reportedly considering.

Andy Chamberlain, the Director of Policy at IPSE, commented on this: “After the drastic financial impact of the pandemic, there is no doubt that a tax raid on the self-employed sector right now would be crippling.

“Any rise in Corporation Tax would also do severe damage to the many freelancers who work through limited companies.

“Above all, it would be deeply unjust to raise taxes on the self-employed to pay for support that at least a third of the sector simply could not access.

“We urge the government to follow the recommendation of the Treasury Select Committee and not raise taxes in this Budget – especially on the self-employed.

“Instead, it should expand support for excluded self-employed groups such as the newly self-employed and those working through limited companies.

“Many in these groups are now desperately struggling and badly need support after nearly a year of hardship.

“In our submission to the Treasury ahead of the Budget, we have also called on the government to urgently delay and rethink the changes to IR35 self-employed taxation. These changes were delayed last year because the Government recognised the sector was not prepared for them and that, with the impact of the pandemic, they would harm the self-employed and the economy. The situation is no better now: and, in fact, now would be the worst possible time to introduce these changes.

“The innovation and flexibility of the self-employed sector will be vital for economic recovery after the pandemic. For that to happen, however, the government must take a long view and nurture and protect the flexible workforce now for the good of the economy and the country. It must not – as some reports suggest – seek short-term gain at the cost of long-term pain.”

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