Welcome to the IR35 Hub

The home of IR35 knowledge and insight online

As a leading FCSA Accredited Umbrella Company we know IR35 inside out. Whether you are a contractor, freelancer, recruitment agency or engager we’ll help you to quickly understand IR35 – with user-friendly videos, blogs, articles and guides.

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The easy guide to IR35

To help you understand IR35, our plain-english video guide provides all the information you need to make sense of the IR35 rules and how they may impact you and your business.

IR35 bite size videos

What is IR35?

A back to basics guide to the legislation.

Is IR35 Important?

We explain why it matters in the scheme of things.

What has changed?

Why all the noise about IR35? It’s not new legislation, but everyone is talking about it. We explain why IR35 is making news.

How is IR35 status determined?

An overview of the tests used to determine IR35 status.

Can an IR35 status be challenged?

Can an IR35 decision be challenged if you think it is wrong? We explain what is likely to happen in reality.

Is IR35 a classification for life?

Once you have been given an IR35 status – is it for life? In this clip we answer one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to IR35.

What to do if your business has been affected?

Best advice and practice for contractors going forward.

IR35 bite size videos

Mutuality of Obligation

‘Mutuality of obligation’ exists when an agency or client has to offer work to an individual under the terms of the contract and the individual has to take it.

Personal Service

‘Personal service’ hinges on whether the personal service of the worker is required, or if someone else can be sent to carry out the work in their place.


This refers to the degree of control a client has over what, how, when and where a worker carries out a job. In case law this is called a master / servant relationship.


What is IR35 and what does the acronym stand for?

IR35, properly known as the “Intermediaries Legislation”, is a set of rules put in place by HMRC to tackle the “disguised employment” of contractors supplying their services to clients via an intermediary, such as personal service company (PSC). In the eyes of HMRC, “disguised employees” would have an employment relationship with their client, if you removed the fact they have a limited company. The acronym IR35 comes from the Inland Revenue (now HMRC) press release number 35 in which it was first announced in 1999.

What does it mean if my contract is “caught” by IR35?

If your contract is determined as “caught” by IR35, it means that your relationship with your client would be one of employment were it not for that the fact that you are providing your services through a limited company. You are deemed as an employee for the purposes of tax and NIC, but not employment rights. Your pay should be net of tax and NIC – this is known as “deemed payments”.

What are the rules for IR35 in the public sector?

For public sector contracts, IR35 is determined by the client (public sector body), rather than the contractor. If the client decides that the contract is within IR35, then the party paying the personal service company – the “fee-payer” – must tax the contractor at source, exactly as they would an employee on their payroll.

What are the rules for IR35 in the private sector?

For private sector contracts it is the responsibility of the personal service company director to determine their IR35 status and apply deemed payments on their income is their contract is caught by IR35.

However in April 2017 there was a change to who was responsible for determining IR35 in the public sector and the government are consulting with a view to extending this to the private sector. A further announcement is expected in 2018.

From the blog

An alternative to IR35 in the private sector – FCSA’s proposal to government

With the consultation on off-payroll working in the private sector now closed, there is much speculation that an extension of the public-sector IR35 rules to the private sector will be a government shoo-in.

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IR35 private sector consultation now open

HMRC has launched its long-awaited consultation on plans to extend the IR35 off-payroll working rules to the private sector, which could affect 2 million contractors.

The consultation paper lays out HMRC’s evaluation of how the public sector reforms have gone, and considers the options for a roll out to the private sector.

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IR35 reforms are here: FCSA urges agencies and umbrellas to work together

Despite little coverage in the mainstream press, the changes to public sector IR35 rules apply from today. The changes undoubtedly will see an increase in umbrella contracting, as agencies and public sector bodies attempt to head off the responsibilities of assessing…

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