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HMRC decision tool: doubts about the selected answers, results, implications, ...
I've been contracting for the last 10 years and always concerned about the IR35 issue. My last contract is with the PS and now that they've released the decision tool I tried with a bunch of quite different combinations (like 10 reports), even putting details that up until now I considered were really important in this subject, like substitution and control:
* Would the end client accept the worker's business sending someone else to do this work instead? = No
* Can the end client move the worker to a different task or project than they originally agreed to do? = Yes - without the worker's agreement (if the worker doesn't want to change task or project, the end client would no longer engage them)
It turns out that somehow that tool always reports that we are out?
I have a few doubts:
- If the PS client has agreed to declare us following the result of the HMRC decision tool, does it then matter that they've chosen that we don't have right of substitution and they've got control in our tasks, as HMRC is anyway saying we're outside IR35?
- If we are investigated in the future, would we (contractors) be responsible for any payable tax/fine? or it will all go to the PS client or agency?
- And if we are not responsible anymore from now on, do we require those expensive IR35 insurances, where they'll pay part of your tax bill if you end up being inside? or that's not needed anymore?
- If they've choosen those 2 answers above, could HRMC investigate further contracts in the past and try to apply that you didn't have right of substitution and the client had control as you were doing a similar job, just trying to catch you inside IR35 in some of the previous roles?
I know some of these questions are more an opinion as we won't really know, but maybe you know about some of them and can help me decide. I am not sure if looking for a new role (and being on the bench for a while) because of those 2 answers or I'm worrying unnecessarily if the tool has returned outside anyway and I could just go ahead with the extension that we are being offered...