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A rare win for HMRC 

Fascinating case where the Upper Tribunal overturned a previous First-Tier Tribunal decision made in June 2019 when Hawksbee successfully challenged his deemed status and a tax bill of around £140k.

Useful also to have a look at an article from July 2019 written by Simon Moore regarding the original case, as this highlights what some of the challenges were when this was in front of the First-Tier Tribunal.

As Nicole Slowey stated in a LinkedIn post, the case does highlight a few things that all parties impacted by IR35 can learn:

  • It’s vital that IR35 status is set with care and after a thorough review of the contract AND the working practices
  • If and when working practices change (which they may well over the course of an engagement), consider reviewing status again. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 
  • Should it come to an IR35 investigation and a loss in court, IR35 insurance will prove vital. It can cover the cost of defence, resulting tax liabilities and even HMRC penalties.

More to follow on this I’m sure, as the dissection of the case continues. 

Before you read on …

  1. If there are others you think that would benefit send it on, or share the link –
  2. For those who have just joined us, welcome! You can view previous news on the website
  3. If you have stuff to share let us know and we’ll give a shout out to the (IR35) world.

Is a Statement of Work the same as a contract? … time for some learning

A useful guide from QDOS  highlighting when SOWs can be used, who uses it and impact on IR35.

It’s a good detailed run through to help provide clarity.

Video podcast with Andy Chamberlain of IPSE

Here’s a good listen during the rain showers over the weekend, or maybe whilst you’re sat with a margarita in the sunshine. For 1hr 26m, Dave Chaplin and Andy Chamberlain have a good run through of the following themes…

– Finance Act reaching royal assent
– HMRC assurances and plans
– How investigations might work.
– Blanket assessments
– Payroll companies
– Claiming rights if inside IR35
– Government consultations / Regulation
– Historic tax risk for contractors
– Preparation / education


Contractors… do you have a website?

Mitigating IR35 risk and enhancing your credentials are among the benefits of having a contracting website. It’s also incredibly easy to do your own.

Here’s a short summary of why is useful in Contractor UK, together with a link to a service should you wish to pay someone to do it for you.

The quiet crisis: IR35 and the UK’s forgotten freelancers

An excellent article by Andy Chamberlain of IPSE in CityA.M.

“In past recessions, highly skilled freelancers have been essential to kickstarting the economy, providing vital flexible expertise to companies large and small. This time, going into the worst recession in 300 years, government policies are sinking one of our greatest economic assets.”

Covid-19: Rishi Sunak stands by his scant offering to limited company directors

“The group of people you mention, it’s not as if there is no support available… Many of them choose to pay themselves up to the income tax threshold through PAYE. Obviously, that part of their earnings may be eligible [for inclusion under the CJRS].”

An article from Simon Moore sharing the comments made by Rishi Sunak and looking at the current stand being made and those who are challenging the “administrative complexity” involved in supporting this forgotten group of people.

New tool – be the first to see it, give feedback and have free access for 12 months

Thank you to those who have volunteered to help with a new tool. With any design process, as many of you will know, it’s critical to get input from users. We’re gathering names of interested contractors who would like to be involved in testing and feeding back on a new IR35/Contractor tool at MVP stage. It will be available from mid August.

We can’t say any more than that I’m afraid, however volunteering will result in free access for 12 months.

Just contact Juliet via and she will explain all 🙂



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