Lords quiz HMRC and big businesses on Personal Service Companies

31 January 2014


The House of Lords Committee investigating the tax implications of the use of Personal Service Companies (PSCs) will question representatives from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and senior figures from Crossrail, BT and GlaxoSmithKline on Monday 3 February

At 4.00 pm the Committee will hear from:

  • Jim McInally, Human Resources Director, Reward & Pensions, BT;
  • Bill Louv, Senior Vice President of Core Business Services, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK); and
  • Mark Fell, Legal Services Director, Crossrail.

The Committee will explore issues including how often PSCs are used and if this has increased or decreased in recent years; if the use of PSCs in their companies is driven by the contractors themselves or by businesses and agencies; what help and support they provide for their workers and suppliers to understand tax and National Insurance responsibilities; and what measures they think responsible businesses should take to ensure that PSCs they engage are paying the appropriate amount of tax and National Insurance.

Following this, at 5.00 pm, the Committee will question the following witnesses from HMRC:

  • Rowena Fletcher, Deputy Director with special responsibility for the Employment Status Team;
  • Robin Wythes, Team Leader of the Employment Status Team; and
  • Peter Lumb, member of the Direct Business Tax team.

The Committee will ask the witnesses questions including:

  • How many people are completing the box relating to Service Companies on their self assessment tax return, and how widely does HMRC use this information?
  • How much does it cost HMRC to police and enforce the IR35 rules and what additional resources, if any, have been dedicated to this work since a new framework was introduced in April 2012?
  • How is HMRC acting to tackle potential abuse of travel expense rules by umbrellas companies, and what could be done to encourage more responsible behaviour?
  • How can HMRC make the IR35 rules more accessible and understandable for non-specialists?
  • Whether the intermediaries legislation has fulfilled the aims which were set out in the original IR35 press release of March 1999?

The evidence session will take place on Monday 3 February 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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