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IR35 and indirect benefits not provided by the client company

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  • eek
    replied
    Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
    I remember AstraZeneca having a deal with Vodafone where you supply your contract details via AZ email for a discount or something. Word went round the contractors and most were jumping on it. Read the blurb and it had 'Employees' all over it. One line even said 'this benefit for employees'. So even though we had AZ email it was clearly for employees. IR35 flag for sure.
    The freebie attached to a corporate phone deal would definitely be a red flag.

    I'm not so sure I would be claiming IR35 on the industry level type deals which are there because a third party wishes to provide marketing services to companies wishing to target specific markets - as I cannot see the direct connection there.

    I think we've found one of those areas where I would agree with you on the Vodafone side of things (deal is due to relationship between vodafone and AZ) and ignore it on the Ode and Eduroam side of things as the relationship is different.

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  • northernladuk
    replied
    I remember AstraZeneca having a deal with Vodafone where you supply your contract details via AZ email for a discount or something. Word went round the contractors and most were jumping on it. Read the blurb and it had 'Employees' all over it. One line even said 'this benefit for employees'. So even though we had AZ email it was clearly for employees. IR35 flag for sure.

    Leave a comment:


  • northernladuk
    replied
    In my simplistic view I'd personally say both the above are wrong. This comment alone rings the alarm bells

    Now neither of these benefits (Ode card, or Eduroam) are provided directly by the company ("employer")
    Just the fact the term employer has come in means it's not for the OP. Whatever the arrangement it is a benefit arranged by the employer for the employees. The OP is not an employee and needs to be doing their best to make sure they don't look like one. They are able to claim because of a loophole but not in the spirit. Having a provided email makes them eligble which is a play on the process. The few times I've seen this the process then goes on to ask for an employee number, which could also be circumvented, but the fact it does also makes it clear who it is intended for.
    It is quite possible that because they are using the process incorrectly these benefits will be available to the OP after they've left which becomes even more wrong on different levels. It's highly likely as the OP is not part of the employee leavers, movers, joiners process they won't have their access revoked properly.

    In my mind this is a clear case of the OP using benefits designed to be used for employees which is a clear flag for IR35. The semantics would be irrelvant should a court look at it. The bottom line is an outside contractor is making use of benefits designed (albeit very badly) for employees and investigation would be all over this like a rash. Might be a minor flag but if the OP wants to know if it's going to cause a problem for IR35 I believe the answer is yes.

    I think greed is driving the OP to try justify this but it shouldn't. It's designed for employees so should not be touched, regardless of the lax processes.

    I'd question the comment about employee benefits available to inside IR35 contractors as well. Yes you can use them because you don't have a tax position to defend but they are still designed for employees not suppliers.

    All that said, in the T&C's for these services if it explicitly says it's available to suppliers as well then fill your boot, but if it doesn't walk away.

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  • Lance
    replied
    Originally posted by ladymuck View Post
    So it's an industry benefit, not an employer/client provided one?

    In my eyes, that's got nothing to do with IR35.
    I agree. It might be a breach of the Ts & Cs of the benefit provider, but meh.

    My LTD. gets an education discount for Adobe Creative because my wife has an email address for an .ac.uk domain. That is a bit dodgy, possibly even fraud, but in no way impacts any tax/IR35 status.

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  • ladymuck
    replied
    So it's an industry benefit, not an employer/client provided one?

    In my eyes, that's got nothing to do with IR35.

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  • IR35 and indirect benefits not provided by the client company

    Hi All,

    I understand that IR35 determination is affected by direct benefits provided by an employer (e.g. a contractor using the company car park, or using the company subsidised canteen, etc, which are benefits an inside IR35 employee should be receiving but not an outside ir35 contractor).

    I am currently on an outside IR35 gig for a healthcare based academic institution through my Ltd. This allows me to potentially qualify for a debit card called Ode for people who provide healthcare based services (i.e. the card gives cashback on certain retailers) although I have to confirm my healthcare based service through my work email via a confirmation email. Consulting for the institution also potentially gives me access to Eduroam which means internet access around the UK (or even other countries) through universities wifi networks again through my academic email address I think.

    Now neither of these benefits (Ode card, or Eduroam) are provided directly by the company ("employer") as a benefit so my question is would the use of an Ode debit card or Eduroam infringe IR35? I suppose use of Eduroam would be more deemed a direct benefit in some ways. The debit card is provided by a third party company but I do have to use my academic email address as proof to get it.

    Any advice much appreciated - I realise IR35 is a nightmare. And by the way how many people a year are found to be incorrectly deemed to be outside IR35 when they should be inside by HMRC? I couldn't easily find that out - is it a mere handful or in the thousands?

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