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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersteamer View Post
    This is exactly what she’s worried about. The agency could claim damages for all PAYE and NI despite the fact she’s already paid her taxes for the contract. Plus agency legal expenses and possibly interest. Could be very expensive.
    How would she get legal representation for this?
    The trick is to get the contract reviewed before taking it by a solicitor and getting such terms removed. You need to get a solicitor who clearly understand PS IR35 and liability - look at the stories on the main website around this issue.

    If she tries to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted e.g. get a solicitor afterwards it is a minimum 2x more expensive.

    In regards to insurance there isn't any I can think off.

    In regards to a developer being subject to SDC it really depends on how her work is organised and what parties she works with.

    If for example she organises her own work, whether in an agile environment or not, due to having lots of experience and is the sole person in that position on the project then it is unlikely she is subject to SDC. (It also helps if she can work remotely.) If however she is working alongside someone with more experience in the same or similar role it can be argued she can be subject to SDC.

    So the main trick in her case is to be proactive and self-organised e.g. the one who sorts out what is done when, who needs to be involved and to provide regular reports to the others on the project of her own back.
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  2. #22

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    Yeah, stable door and horse. Under all the confusion surrounding the introduction of the new rules she had believed that she no longer had any liability for IR35 determination and that therefore an IR35 contract review was not necessary.

    Anyway that’s a lesson learned.

    Is there really no insurance for legal cover to defend this? There are lots of options for defending an IR35 decision against an HMRC claim in the private sector, but nothing to defend against an agency claim in the public sector?

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by gables View Post
    That is quite different (in bold).

    I find it interesting on how we interpret things; to me an offer (which is a request to work on something else) does not indicate a client sees me under direction and control, in fact I'd argue the opposite. Because if it was D&C I'd be getting told what to work.
    OK, we are getting lost in semantics and words. If the client expects to give the PM new work then you could argue SDC exists, just not demonstrated. The PM obviously has the option to decline it but it's likely they'll be leaving soon. In a large majority of cases the PM's do multiple projects or what they are asked. If the clients expectation was to bring in a PM they can allocate work to as part of delivery team then they are will see the engagement as one with an element of SDC. Remember RoS does not have to be demonstrated to factor. If the client stands up in court and says 'Yes, we wanted a PM to supplement the team and carry out activities as we see fit' even if it didn't happen you've got a major problem.

    If the PM has a poorly worded statement of work just listing skills and nothing about the actual projects then he has to be allocated work surely? SDC?

    A lot depends on the contract and situation and is very grey. I am sure there could be a very good argument for SDC applying to all contractors and an equally good one it doesn't. Still won't help us know how HMRC want to apply it.
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  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersteamer View Post
    Yeah, stable door and horse. Under all the confusion surrounding the introduction of the new rules she had believed that she no longer had any liability for IR35 determination and that therefore an IR35 contract review was not necessary.

    Anyway that’s a lesson learned.

    Is there really no insurance for legal cover to defend this? There are lots of options for defending an IR35 decision against an HMRC claim in the private sector, but nothing to defend against an agency claim in the public sector?
    How can you cost or design a solution to protect someone from something we don't actually know about or how much it will cost to defend? Too many unknowns for anyone to stick their neck out and offer it.
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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersteamer View Post
    Is there really no insurance for legal cover to defend this? There are lots of options for defending an IR35 decision against an HMRC claim in the private sector, but nothing to defend against an agency claim in the public sector?
    That's because IR35 has been around for a long time, and the insurance companies know what the exposure is likely to be plus what the workload of defending the case would be. That means that there can be a few people who are willing to provide cover / advice because they have a reasonable idea of their liability. Plus there hasn't been an IR35 tribunal in quite some time, so they have that advantage as well (more will be coming, I suspect).

    That said if there is a situation where a case can be fought which would ultimately be in the best interests of contractors, then there is always a chance that a different kind of organisation might be prepared to take that fight on. For example, no insurance company would ever have spent over £1 million to take the Arctic case (or Jones v Garnett to give it its correct title) to the highest court in the land, but with good professional advice that was something that Geoff Jones won at every opportunity.
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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    How can you cost or design a solution to protect someone from something we don't actually know about or how much it will cost to defend? Too many unknowns for anyone to stick their neck out and offer it.
    That’s the bread and butter of actuaries and the insurance industry in general. If it can be done for HMRC IR35 challenges I don’t see why it couldn’t be done for Agency ones.

    Yes, in an ideal world nobody would have these sort of clauses in their contracts. But given how risk averse agencies now are around IR35 I can see it being very difficult to have them removed for most contractors. Agencies can always just move on to the next guy.

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    Seems the upshot is don’t work in the public sector.

    Inside IR35 and the tax burden is too high, especially if away from home.

    Outside IR35 and you face uninsurable risks unless the agency (not the client) is so desperate to get you that they are willing to take all the risk themselves. Has anybody else got similar clauses successfully removed?

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    One more thought. If HMRC were to challenge a PS IR35 decision, who would they actually take to tribunal - the PSB, the agency or the PSC? If the PSC then presumably my fellow contractor’s IR35 tax enquiry insurance would kick in and she’d have the opportunity to refute the IR35 claim (based on all aspects, not just SDC).
    Assuming she successfully rejects the challenge, then the agency would incur no costs and could therefore claim no damages from her.
    So in a way she’s still protected by her IR35 tax enquiry insurance?

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersteamer View Post
    One more thought. If HMRC were to challenge a PS IR35 decision, who would they actually take to tribunal - the PSB, the agency or the PSC? If the PSC then presumably my fellow contractor’s IR35 tax enquiry insurance would kick in and she’d have the opportunity to refute the IR35 claim (based on all aspects, not just SDC).
    Assuming she successfully rejects the challenge, then the agency would incur no costs and could therefore claim no damages from her.
    So in a way she’s still protected by her IR35 tax enquiry insurance?
    Nobody knows where an investigation might start - the rules are too new for HMRC to have opened (m)any investigations and unless people are posting about where it started, nobody knows who HMRC contact. But it's highly unlikely to be the agency, since they didn't make the determination.

    They might ask the contractor (as they normally do for non-public sector contracts) as part of a routine enquiry, or they could start by asking each PSB what roles they have determined are outside IR35 and how did they make that determination. I would suspect that the latter could yield more targets quicker than the former, plus it's easier for HMRC to ask another public sector body how they came to a decision. If the case starts from that end, it won't get near the consultancy until the agency argues breach of contract.

    Until it happens, nobody knows how HMRC, PSBs, agencies and the insurance providers will react - if the role is within the public sector, is there anything for an insurance provider to get involved with? The burden of paying the right level of taxation sits with the fee payer rather than the consultancy, after all.

    This is all hypothetical - until HMRC start to bring cases, it's all speculation because nobody knows how it will work (including, I suspect, HMRC).
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