Gig workers fight back over unfair tax plans – comment for BBC News

Many self-employed people face a higher tax bill from 2020 when the IR35 rule is extended to the private sector.

It will force thousands of contractors and freelancers to pay income tax, as well as National Insurance (NI) at the 12% rate, rather than a lower rate.

But many say the new rules will make firms too scared to employ them.

They reckon the rules will not just hit their job prospects, but their finances and the flexibility of their chosen careers will suffer too.

Melissa Holloway, a freelance medical copywriter and healthcare industry consultant, told the BBC:

It’s not about trying to cut down on tax. It’s about making more room to give back to the community and for your family.

Freelancer Iona Bain, founder of Young Money Blog & Agency said the proposed changes “scare me enormously”.

She said:

Those who benefit from fooling HMRC over their employment status are businesses trying to avoid National Insurance, not the majority of freelancers trying to make ends meet. But these rules mean many self-employed workers will be wrongly re-employed on higher taxes without any of the benefits that full-time employees enjoy.

She said she has experienced many instances of employers wrongly classifying her for tax and pension purposes, costing her time and money. “That will be nothing compared to the confusion and complexity caused by these rule changes.”

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