Policy Forum: Tax, Social Security, and Employment Status - Removing the Distortions in the United Kingdom

Canadian Tax Journal/Revue fiscale canadienne, Vol. 69, No. 2, 2021, pp. 545-557

14 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2021

See all articles by Judith Freedman

Judith Freedman

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation

Date Written: August 3, 2021

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained tax and social security systems. Cracks that have existed for some time have been opened up further and are unlikely to close without structural repair. New insights into the shifting nature of work, combined with the development of technologies that can provide modern, practical solutions to old problems, offer the opportunity to rethink the way we tax gig workers and other non-standard providers of labour. This article argues that we need to free ourselves from the employment status classifications developed in other areas of law, for other purposes, when we consider the design of tax and social security provisions. We should aim to harmonize the tax and social security treatment of all those who provide labour as far as is practically possible in order to increase equity and remove distortions. Where that cannot be achieved, despite the benefits of new technologies, dividing lines should be dictated by tax and benefits policy objectives rather than linkages to case law that has evolved in other areas.

Keywords: Employment, taxation, social security, United Kingdom, classifications, policy

Suggested Citation

Freedman, Judith, Policy Forum: Tax, Social Security, and Employment Status - Removing the Distortions in the United Kingdom (August 3, 2021). Canadian Tax Journal/Revue fiscale canadienne, Vol. 69, No. 2, 2021, pp. 545-557, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3894569

Judith Freedman (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

Worcester College
Walton Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2HB
Great Britain

Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation ( email )

Said Business School
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1
United Kingdom

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