Recently, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Vince Cable, called upon the Government to focus on the tax dealings of big businesses, instead of its clear and continued assault on the self-employed.
This is a sentiment echoed by 95% of freelancers and contractors who believe it is time large corporations faced the same kind of scrutiny when it comes to tax that the self-employed have been forced to endure in recent times.
Vince Cable's comments came soon after the Paradise Papers shone an unsavoury light on the tax dealings of a number of global businesses, including Apple, along with several highly wealthy UK individuals.
In Parliament, Mr Cable made the case that big businesses are given greater leniency by the Government compared to the self-employed.
"At present, a big crackdown is taking place on what are called IR35 companies. These are contractors for the health service, and they are often software specialists. There is undoubtedly a certain amount of tax avoidance in relation to national insurance, but these companies are being pursued in a highly aggressive way that the Government do not use in pursuing much bigger fish," he said.
Unsurprisingly, this feeling is echoed by almost all freelancers and contractors surveyed by Qdos Contractor. As the Government continues its damaging plan to stamp out what they consider to be wide scale tax avoidance from the self-employed, 92% of independent workers believe they are seen as a soft target.
Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO supported Mr Cable’s comments, and urged the Government to think carefully about how they treat freelancers when it comes to tax.
"We are in total agreement with Vince Cable here. The Government must do more to stop big businesses from suspected tax avoidance. Promises to do so have not been carried out, and unsurprisingly the self-employed are feeling unfairly targeted.”
Recent and potential changes to IR35 and the tax system has understandably dented freelancers’ confidence in the Government, with 65% stating they do not believe the UK has a pro freelancing Party in power.
Previous to this, 32% of independent workers revealed they see the complicated tax system is the most difficult aspect of self-employment, while 95% believe recent tax changes are reducing the benefits of working self-employed.
Given the growing size and influence of the UK’s self-employed workforce, surely it’s time the Government committed to improving the landscape for freelancers and contractors?
"This Government has a long way to go to win back the support of the independent workforce which, together contributed £119bn to the UK last year. When it comes to tax, big businesses must face the same scrutiny from HMRC that independent workers are made to endure," Seb Maley explained.
Do you also believe the Government is letting big businesses off the hook?