Rebecca Seeley Harris
LLB (Hons) LLM MSc
Rebecca started her own consultancy, Re Legal Consulting Ltd, over 20 years ago when the tax initiative ‘IR35’ was announced in 1999. In 2000, Rebecca covered the judicial review of IR35 for Contractor UK, who she is still writing for now, and when it became law started advising companies on how to deal with IR35. Since then Rebecca has continued to advise companies both nationally and internationally on how to work with a non-standard workforce in the UK jurisdiction. She specialises in employment and tax status on all types of non-permanent positions including the self-employed, limb ‘b’ workers, LLP partners, personal service companies and the Construction Industry Scheme and officeholders, amongst others.
Rebecca is a lawyer by background with an LLB (Hons) in Business Law and an LLM in International Commercial and corporate law with distinction. So, what sets Rebecca apart from other advisers is that she has knowledge of both the position for tax status and for employment rights. It is essential for businesses to understand their position from both perspectives in order to understand the pit falls of engaging with someone off payroll.
Rebecca has lectured at the London School of Economics, spoken at many professional conferences, and written many articles for the professional press including Taxation Magazine and AccountingWeb. She is also often quoted in the mainstream press including the Financial Times, the Telegraph and the Daily Mirror.
Her focus is to understand the complex case law and to be able to decipher the legislation and how it affects different companies.
Rebecca was seconded to the Office of Tax Simplification (an independent body of HM Treasury) in 2014 as a Senior Policy Adviser to advise the government on employment and tax status. Reporting direct to the Chancellor, Rebecca was part of a small team of experts who drafted the Employment Status Review (2015), she then continued to advise on the review of Small Company Taxation leading on the taxation of nano companies and the self-employed and published the Review of Small Company Taxation (2016).
As a result of that review Rebecca developed the concept of SEPA (Self-employed with Protected Assets), providing a vehicle to the self-employed to be able to protect the family home. Rebecca also recommended the setting up of and was a representative on the Cross Government Working Group on Employment Status. She then co-authored a focus paper into the taxation of the Gig Economy with John Whiting CBE in 2017.
“Thank you for the great job you’ve done for the Office of Tax Simplification… Your knowledge of employment issues and your ability to unpick the most technical aspects of legislation has been very valuable for the OTS…as has been you hard work in developing the OTS response to the issues faced in the gig economy.”
Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer (2019)
“Thank you for the great job you have done for the Office of Tax Simplification and for all the support you have given to John Whiting and Jeremy Sherwood on the employment status review. Your expert legal knowledge and experience has been really valuable for the office, as has been your skill in helping to put together the very impressive final report.”
George Osbourne, Chancellor of the Exchequer (2016)