Lords quiz academics, tax experts and professional bodies on Personal Service Companies

28 November 2013


Tax experts, professors and professional bodies will be questioned by the new House of Lords Committee charged with investigating the tax issues relating to Personal Service Companies, on Monday 2 December

At 4.00 pm, the Committee will hear from:

  • Professor Judith Freedman, Pinsent Masons Professor of Taxation Law at the University of Oxford;
  • Kate Cottrell, Tax Consultancy Expert and Managing Director of Bauer & Cottrell; and
  • Robin Williamson, Technical Director, Low Incomes Tax Reform Group.

The Committee will explore with the witnesses issues including who the winners – and losers – are, when a worker uses a Personal Service Company (PSC); if there is sufficient understanding of the IR35 rules amongst workers and businesses, and whose responsibility should it be to determine if a business transaction is subject to them; if Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is doing enough to develop statistics and monitoring systems which can provide information on the levels of understanding of PSC tax returns; and how effective the IR35 legislation has been and its overall value in terms of the additional tax income it has generated for the Government.

Following on, at 5.00 pm, the Committee will question the following representatives from professional bodies:

  • Frank Haskew, Head of the Tax Faculty at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW);
  • Jason Piper, Technical Manager, Tax and Business Law at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA); and
  • Patrick Stevens, Tax Policy Director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).

The Committee will ask the professional bodies how effectively HMRC works with them and if the introduction of the IR35 forum has changed their working relationship; how well HMRC responds to IR35 enquires and pursuing investigations, and if it needs to establish an agreed set of service performance standards; and if they are aware of any evidence of abuse of the PSC expenses rules, and, if so, how they think it should be addressed. 

The evidence sessions will take place on Monday 2 December at 4.00 pm in Committee Room 4.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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