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How should platforms and gig economy workers be taxed?


The ‘gig economy’ has grown and risen up the policy agenda in recent years. The associated growth in people working through their own businesses and in work happening through platforms highlights difficult questions about when to have boundaries in the tax system and where to put them.

The self-employed are taxed at lower rates than employees. How should gig economy workers be taxed? When should they be taxed as employees? What is the knock-on effect of their tax status for in work benefits? Does it matter that employment law and tax law are not aligned?

Our expert panel brought a range of different perspectives to this topical debate:

  • Stuart Adam - Senior Research Economist, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Bill Dodwell – Tax Director, Office of Tax Simplification
  • Meredith McCammond – Technical Officer, Low Incomes Tax Reform Group
  • Neil Ross – Head of Policy, techUK
  • Chaired by CIOT PresidentPeter Rayney

You can watch the event here, and download Stuart Adam's slides here.

More on this topic

Briefing note
Are there any common themes in how the current Scottish Government has used these powers? Who are the winners and losers from the reforms it has undertaken? What opportunities has it taken and what difficult decisions has it ducked? And what are some of the key issues for the coming years?
Press release
The Scottish Government has used its devolved tax and benefit powers to craft a more progressive system than is in place in the rest of the UK. On average, taxes are higher for high-income households, and benefits more generous for low-income households.