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Tax chief hits back at business reality test critics

THE WOMAN pushing plans for the Inland Revenue to force workers to take a test to prove they are legitimately self-employed has challenged critics of the plan to come up with their own ideas to tackle the problem.

Construction Confederation tax expert Liz Bridge is backing the idea of a 'business reality test' to root out the problem of bogus self-employment The proposal has been criticised by some as unworkable and an attack on those who are properly selfemployed.

One critic said: 'Liz is coming across as very pro Revenue and is seen as beating up the industry on this one.'

But Ms Bridge hit back and said: 'If people think it's a silly idea they should say so in public rather than sniping from the corridors and put forward their own suggestions. All that's being looked at is a way of bringing people into PAYE who should be in PAYE.'

The business reality test was hatched following a meeting between Ms Bridge and paymaster-general Dawn Primarolo at Easter.Ms Bridge added: 'No numbers were discussed about how much tax could be collected. It's not about a new yield of tax, it's about paying the right tax.'

The Revenue has set up a consultation document on whether a business reality test is feasible or not with the next meeting on the idea scheduled to take place at the Revenue's offices in October.