Purplebricks and other hybrid LPEs face HMRC crack-down, warn lawyers

Legal firm Osborne Clarke says HMRC wants to recoup some of the £8.3 billion annual undeclared earnings, some of which is hidden by self-employed staff like hybrid agency LPEs, it is claimed.


A leading legal firm has warned large corporates like Purplebricks who ‘employ’ small armies of self-employed staff face a significant crack-down by HMRC similar to that experience following the introduction of anti-money laundering rules.

The legal firm has also predicted that companies who use self-employed staff like LPEs will be asked to report people who they believe are not declaring their earnings honestly.

Experts from International firm Osborne Clarke appear in a video in which they also warn that HMRC wants to ensure self employed workers such as Purplebricks LPEs which are currently ‘under the tax radar’ are taxed correctly on their earnings.

Lawyer Ian Hyde of Osborne Clarke reveals that HMRC has been waging a war on large corporate like Purplebricks to behave better, and that getting their ‘gig economy’ staff included in this is HMRC’s latest initiative.

£8.3 billion

“One study put it that £8.3 billion of income tax was under-declared and a large part of that would be the gig economy,” he says.

“Against that background, these regulations have now become part of that brand risk that comes with tax, that a large corporate will not want to be seen on the front of certain newspapers or being interviewed in a Parliamentary Committee.

“So what the Revenue are doing is trying to ensure that the large corporate firms either stop trading with fraudulent contractors who aren’t declaring their taxes deliberately, provide information on those contractors to the Revenue so the Revenue can go find them themselves or actually take the tax risk on board as a large corporate.”

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