Philip Hammond eyes £1bn budget raid on contractors

According to the Time, the chancellor is contemplating a £1bn raid on contractors aimed at a crackdown on “disguised employment” in the private sector, which could force businesses to add self-employed staff to their payroll, pushing up everyone’s tax bill. This move is likely to be announced in next month’s budget to level the playing field between salaried staff and contractors. It has been suggested that this could provide a boost to Hammond, who is scrambling to fund public sector pay rises and to increase spending on the NHS and social care.

The Treasury is targeting IT contractors, consultants and other freelancers who are paid through “personal service companies” (PSC’s or Single Person Ltd Companies). Currently, it is up to the workers to pay the correct personal tax and national insurance contributions. HM Revenue & Customs believes that most of them do not comply in full.

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