The Upper Tax Tribunal has just released its register for upcoming hearings. It now contains six media hearings on IR35 cases where either party has been permitted to appeal to the UT.
Of the six, four are by HMRC, where the taxpayer won the appeal, but HMRC disagreed with the judges.
Dave Chaplin, CEO of IR35 compliance firm IR35 Shield said: “HMRC’s head Jim Harra told the Public Affairs Committee on February 21st 2022 that HMRC accepts FTT decisions based on facts, and only appeal where they think the judge has got the law wrong. With six IR35 cases permitted to appeal to the UT, it begs why HMRC consistently accuses judges of getting the law so wrong.
“HMRC has sought permission to appeal every case they have lost since October 2019. Why? Is this ideologically led to send a message to other self-employed workers and firms that hire them? HMRC doesn’t appear to be doing as Harra says, and the Grounds of Appeal in many of these cases are what barristers would refer to as a “disguised attack on the findings of fact.”
“HMRC’s IR35 legal team appear to be out of control in an attempt to crush taxpayers. The Atholl House case involving Kaye Adams is now facing its fourth tribunal in October, despite having never been told by a court that IR35 applied to her engagement with the BBC. Her costs have far exceeded the tax at stake. If she inevitably wins, will HMRC assert that the judges have got it wrong again?
“HMRC’s aggressive stance against hard-working self-employed people is causing untold economic damage. If the Prime Minister wants the economy to grow, he needs to unleash the self-employed from the shackles attached to them by HMRC.
“Is it time for elected ministers to step in and intervene to stop HMRC from bulldozing taxpayers into submission? Someone needs to take back control.”