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This week’s opinion

08 December 2015 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 45230 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Tax changes on the horizon for the self-employed?

One thing I missed at the autumn statement was the correspondence between David Gauke and the Office of Tax Simplification. The main thrust of the letter is employment status but there are points of wider significance. The one that caused me to think was this:

  • OTS suggestion – “Explore widening the system of withholding tax payments for the self-employed. This would not be a simple expansion of the construction industry scheme but a new system that takes advantage of digitalisation.”
  • Ministerial response – “Consider.”

We can take that “consider” as strongly suggesting that some form of withholding may well happen. It would be consistent with the other recent proposals to bring forward payment dates. I suspect that eventually we will reach a situation where most self-employed individuals pay tax in something approaching real time. I can just about see how withholding could be...

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