Tax minister aims to cut red tape for the self-employed

Cutting red tapeThe finance ministry, employers, unions and organisations representing the self-employed have reached agreementĀ  on cutting the bureaucracy facing freelancers.

The government is planning to replace the current VAR declaration system which regulates the relationship between freelancers and employers. To qualify for VAR status, a freelancer must have at least four clients.

The planned replacement, known as a BGL, has been so heavily criticised that junior tax minister Eric Wiebes opened talks to try and find an alternative.

The new system will involve a number of standard sector-based agreements drawn up by the tax office which will be available for general use, Wiebes told parliament in a briefing on Monday. Companies will also be able to draw up their own freelance contracts and submit them for tax office approval.

Under the VAR system, freelancers are liable for social security premiums if the tax office decides they are effectively employees. The new system will split the responsibility.

Wiebes hopes this will stop companies getting round employment laws by treating de facto ordinary employees as if they were self-employed, so avoiding social security and other premium payments.

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