‘Confusion’ over forthcoming tax law changes

HMRC

More clarity and communication is needed about imminent changes to tax legislation targeting the employment status of professional drivers, according to recruiter GI Group UK.

A change to the rules surrounding anti-avoidance tax laws - IR35 – this April is intended to expose “hidden employees”.

It means hauliers must review their agency needs and decide whether a driver should be classed as a full-time staff member.

It is thought that a large number of drivers act as self-employed and use companies to manage their payments and tax affairs.

However, under the reforms, there will be a crackdown on off-payroll working, so that firms and contractors cannot avoid dodging national insurance.

But GI Group said confusion about the issue still reigns, with 84% of organisations failing to inform their drivers about the changes.

Its driver survey also found 46% of respondents do not understand what IR35 is and how it impacts contractors.

Richard Madej, Gi Group UK head of driving, said: “With uncertainty around the IR35 legislation, and as of April 2020 the responsibility for the determination of whether a role falls inside or outside of IR35 falling to the client rather than the contractor, it has never been more important for them to have complete trust in the advice they receive.”

Wandsworth uses Stralis NP for New Year's Day parade

Iveco Stralis

An IVECO Stralis NP 460 was tasked with pulling Wandsworth Council’s sustainably-themed float during London’s New Year’s Day Parade.

Wandsworth Council borrowed the LNG-powered 6x2 tractor unit, which features IVECO’s 12.9-litre Cursor 13 NP engine, 12-speed Hi-Tronix automatic gearbox and Hi-Cruise GPS-based predictive cruise control because its green credentials are in line with the authority’s target of carbon neutrality by 2030.

The Mayor of Wandsworth, Jane Cooper, explained: “We wanted to make every effort to ensure our float was sustainable and only contained materials that had been recycled, reused or repurposed. Being able to power it on 100% natural gas made a massive contribution and provided a really positive start to our work in Wandsworth in 2020 to fight climate change.”

The Stralis NP produces 99% less particulate matter and 90% less N02 in comparison to Euro-6 diesel trucks, and hauliers operating this vehicle, IVECO says, can “reduce C02 emissions by up to 95% when running on liquefied bio-methane”.

MD of Absolute Events, Jonathan Price, was behind the wheel of the Stralis on the day and praised its characteristics: “It was a dream to drive; much quieter than a diesel and more than capable of doing the job. An all-round success!”

The Stralis NP’s engine records below 71dB on the Dutch PIEK quiet truck test, as opposed to Euro-6 diesel engines which produce up to 78dB.

Gareth Lumsdaine, IVECO’s business line director truck, said: “We were delighted to be asked to team up with Wandsworth Council – they recognised the Stralis NP as being the most sustainable heavy truck on the road, and naturally it proved to be the perfect fit with their theme for the event.”