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.

Our videos were released in January 2018 prior to confirmation that client determination of IR35 will be extended to the private sector in April 2020. We will add to these resources once there is more certainty about the specifics of the private sector roll out.

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 isn’t the easiest or most exciting of topics, but we cut through the complexity to provide you with an understanding so you can decide what is right for you.

IR35 status testing tool

This IR35 testing tool from IR35testing.co.uk enables workers, agencies and clients to independently evaluate the IR35 status of their contracts, based upon their responses and IR35 case law.


What is IR35?
A back to basics guide to the legislation.

Is IR35 Important?
We explain why it matters.

What to do?
Best advice and practice for contractors.

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?

Is IR35 a classification for life?
Once you have been given an IR35 status – is it for life?

The key employment test areas

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 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 private sector?

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

From April 2020 this will no longer be the case. From that date, as announced in the 2018 Budget, the public sector IR35 rules will be extended to the private sector, so it will be the responsibility of the engager to make the IR35 determination.

The government have confirmed that these changes will only apply to large and medium sized companies and that there will be further consultation on the operational detail of the reform.

Latest from our IR35 blog

Budget 2018 – will IR35 in the private sector get the green light?
Like everyone else in the sector we will be all ears for an announcement on a roll out of the IR35 rules for off-payroll working to the private sector.

A bucket list for IR35 in the private sector – REC has their say
Behind the haze of the summer heatwave, the government was gathering responses to its consultation on tackling non-compliance with the off-payroll rules (IR35) in the private sector.

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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