IR35 is coming – but it won’t be enforced rigorously. At least not for the first year, according to HMRC. Having reviewed the proposed tax changes, the government has agreed to apply the new law with a “light touch” during the first 12 months. With the legislation now a certainty, could the best option be to embrace it and look for the opportunities?

The introduction of IR35 has been met with dismay and alarm from the private sector from the very beginning. In response to business’s lobbying, the government agreed to review the proposals – but has decided to press on with the changes. However, HMRC has consented to approach compliance more leniently over the first 12 months. The official review states “Customers will not have to pay penalties for errors related to off-payroll in the first year, except in cases of deliberate non-compliance.

Businesses breathing a sigh of relief

For the thousands of contractors who’ve been told to leave or become a permanent employee, the news may not be much consolation. However, for companies who’ve been more receptive to IR35, there may be a sense of relief and diminishing pressure. In fact, some may be tempted to ‘kick the can down the road’ and put off expensive and complex IR35 preparations. This is a risky strategy – businesses are still advised to make their arrangements as soon as possible.

Seeing the positives

But what if companies looked at IR35 as an opportunity instead of an onerous burden? Instead of treating contractors as employees – with little performance management beyond a monthly timesheet – they could employ them on a project basis, working to defined deliverables and measureable outcomes. There could also be benefits for thousands of contractors: the chance to embark on a portfolio career that offers flexibility and diversity.

Get the benefits of IR35 – without the administrative headache

At Colnort, we’re dedicated to helping both parties make the most of new IR35 working arrangements. We recruit staff (or transfer existing teams and contractors) onto compliant, outcome-based service agreement deployed through Colnort. In effect, we become the end client, taking on business’s IR35 responsibilities. Companies get greater performance and business value from their interim workforce – and the opportunity to focus on their core business.

For contractors, there’s the reassurance of working within a compliant consulting framework that removes IR35 uncertainty. With an agreement managed by Colnort, there’s no chasing payments; insurance cover; and the chance to continue working as an independent business outside IR35 legislation.

About Colnort

Colnort has 30 years’ experience of delivering talent and project services to SMEs and major global enterprises. We therefore know the incredible value that interim consultants can bring to businesses. However, many companies fail to manage their interim workforce effectively, due to onerous paperwork, complex compliance issues and a natural focus on delivering to the core business. Colnort takes away the worry and liabilities that IR35 brings. To find out how we can help you, visit