HMRC IR35 assessment criteria

Some of the examples of factors considered by HMRC in assessing whether you are within the scope of IR35.

Listed below are some of the examples of factors considered by HMRC in assessing whether you are within the scope of IR35.

Please be aware this is not a comprehensive list and as IR35 regulations are extremely complex, the brief notes below should provide a rough indicator:

Control: You need to demonstrate your ability to work freely under your own control. In other words you are not managed by the client, an example can be that you can prioritise your own work.

Employee benefits: Employees are entitled to holiday pay, sickness pay, company pension contributions, payments towards their training courses, bonus payments and other funded events organised for staff. Receipt of these benefits are a strong indicators of employment.

Financial risk: Employees normally do not bear any risk of financial loss for example due to under-performance or missing targets. On the other hand a client will expect you to fund purchases or raise funds and may even withhold payment until a certain condition is met. It is therefore clear that the financial risk of not achieving a predefined target or achieving an agreed outcome is borne by the service provider.

Provision of equipment: As a service provider you may be expected to use your own equipment without being reimbursed for the acquisition cost or you bear the risk of damage and/or wear and tear of such equipments.

Right of dismissal: HMRC view is clear in instances where there is a set notice period to terminate the contract, however it is not uncommon to have termination clause in contracts. The conditions of serving a notice, timing of serving notice and what defines a terminating event will decide whether the contract is one of employment.

Substitution: Do you have the liberty under the terms of the contract to use someone else to do the work taken on by you? Again there is no hard or fast rule, however this could be a contributory factor in assessing the overall nature of the contract.

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