IR35 rules will only apply to new contracts New IR35 tax rules for freelancers will only apply to contracts that start after April 6th, when the new rules come into force, HMRC has said. Previously the rules would have applied to any payments made on or after April 6, regardless of when the services were carried out. The changes to off-payroll working tax laws mean employers will be required to assess whether a contractor is genuine or effectively working as a full-time employee. The rules are designed to prevent people working on a permanent basis but enjoying the tax breaks of using a limited company, but the pressure on employers has already seen contractors turned down for work or paid less. Andy Chamberlain of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), a trade body, said: “This minor amendment will be little comfort to the many contractors already laid off by companies who are panicking about the approaching changes."