IR35 Guide: Contract Review Options
Getting a definitive answer on your IR35 is always going to be tricky, and the days of taking out an insurance policy are long gone. Its always going to be difficult to get a 100% cast iron guarentee that IR35 doesn't apply and responsibility rests with you. There are several routes open to you:
- Ask us what we think. As part of our normal watching-your-back-stuff we’re interested to talk to you about new contracts as you get them, and let you know if we think you need specialist advice.
- HMRC offer an IR35 assessment service. You can write to or email the IR35 unit to get an opinion on an existing contract; if you're fairly confident and want to be sure then this might be the thing to do. Be careful as if you disagree with the decision then challenging HMRC might mean visits to the commissioners or even the law courts. You might decide this option is a bit like driving home late at night, pulling over to wave down a police car, and asking them to check whether the tread on your tires looks OK.
- Form your own opinion- Review your contract and come to your own decision on self-employment. Make sure you've documented all the reasons for your conclusions. Joining a group like the PCG entitles you to legal support through any investigations.
- Get legal advice. Some legal firms offer an assessment service. You’ll have to pay for the service, but you'll also get the benefit of some serious legal backup if HMRC challenge this assessment. We'll happily pass on contact details of providers our other clients recommend.
Remember, HMRC are interested in the genuine working arrangements as well as what the contract say; however, the contract itself remains the most significant indicator of IR35 status.
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