Recent IR35 tribunals have demonstrated how evidence is mainly compiled from a broad range of factors relating to status tests like Direction & Control, Substitution and MOO. However, as the IR35 rules struggle to interpret the complexities of modern working practices, the other key status tests, such as Part & Parcel and Being in Business are becoming increasingly relevant.
For genuine contractors, finding continuous work is an obvious priority. This means that a contractor’s marketing activity can be considered as an extension and reflection of their working practices. For example, limited company websites are a good indication of being in business on your own account, as it shows that you are marketing your services in a way that an employee wouldn’t need to.
However, many limited company contractors might not have a website, especially if they secure work through an agency. Therefore their professional networking profiles, such as LinkedIn, need to demonstrate that they’re not Part & Parcel of the company they currently work for. This can be indicated by the language and terminology that is used.
For instance, job titles and descriptions should indicate that you are a contractor and your current position is a ‘project’ or ‘assignment,’ e.g. ‘Consultant Project Manager at XXX Bank’ or ‘Experienced IT contractor currently working on the Changeover project at a Big4 Accountancy firm’. Terms such as ‘employer’ should be replaced with ‘client’ or ‘engager’, while ‘employed’ and ‘job’ can be replaced with ‘engaged’ or ‘assignment’. Likewise, give some consideration to your working history and how this might come across. Long periods of time working exclusively for the same company could be construed by HMRC as a permanent position.
Other areas to look at might be your project ‘targets’ and ‘achievements’ rather than your ‘duties’ or ‘responsibilities’. Similarly, you should keep an eye on any endorsements and recommendations you receive to ensure that the language is appropriate. While no single piece of information is likely to lead to a definitive conclusion about your employment status, these details can provide insight into your mind-set and your working practices over a long period of time.
This content has been supplied by IR35 Guru.
If you’ve been affected by the Off-Payroll reforms, or if you’re unsure about your employment status, Contracting Wise has a range of solutions to help keep your contracting career on track. To talk to a member of our team, call: 0203 642 8679 or request a free 20-minute consultation.