The UK government has managed to squeeze over £300 million in IR35 bills out of its own departments, leading to ridicule in the public sector, according to recent reports. The most recent victim of this collection spree is UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), which has been slapped with a notice demanding £36 million for breaching off-payroll working rules. UKRI, sponsored by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, utilized a diverse range of off-payroll expertise for various projects.
Since the introduction of reforms in 2017 regarding the payment of contractors, sole traders, and other temporary staff, the public sector has struggled to ensure compliance. Last year, HM Courts & Tribunals Service was ordered to pay back £12.5 million to HMRC, while bills of £88 million and £33.5 million landed on the desks of the Department of Work and Pensions and the Home Office, respectively.