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Previously on "IR35 and indirect benefits not provided by the client company"

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  • eek
    replied
    Originally posted by MonkeysUncle View Post

    I dont think the debit card company is offering the benefit, the institution the OP works at is. The ODE card is another benefit.
    Is the institution the OP work for paying ODE something towards the cards - I seriously doubt it. What I suspect you will find is that ODE has a whitelist validation check on the domain name part of an email address as the basis of admission.

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  • MonkeysUncle
    replied
    Originally posted by BlasterBates View Post
    This discount has nothing to do with the NHS, it is only the debit card company that is offering this benefit. This is like a sweet shop offering discounts to employees at a factory across the road to entice them in. If you popped into the sweet shop and showed your badge to get a discount it doesn't make you an employee.
    I dont think the debit card company is offering the benefit, the institution the OP works at is. The ODE card is another benefit.

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  • ladymuck
    replied
    It's much like the 75% discount you get on Heathrow Express if you have an airport pass. Everyone who has been issued a pass by the airport is entitled to the discount and taking it doesn't make you an employee; it's there to encourage people to use public transport to get to work rather than drive.

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  • BlasterBates
    replied
    This discount has nothing to do with the NHS, it is only the debit card company that is offering this benefit. This is like a sweet shop offering discounts to employees at a factory across the road to entice them in. If you popped into the sweet shop and showed your badge to get a discount it doesn't make you an employee.

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  • MonkeysUncle
    replied
    IMO the Ode maybe but I dont think the Eduroam would be.
    The NHS has something similar, access to a 'shared' wifi that can be used at any NHS trust site, as well as councils (provided they signed up for it) called GovWifi. It was a way of making it easier when travelling to other sites to access a secure wifi connection, rather than having to sign into the wifi of the site you were visiting or wait to get an access code etc.

    it may come down to what are you using it for? If, as part of your role, you travel to various locations and need access to a secure network, they i think its valid to use Eduroam, same way I had to use GovWifi.

    If you want to use it for personal use, then it may be grey (though how they could prove this i dont know).

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  • northernladuk
    replied
    Originally posted by eek View Post
    Anything where they allow retired and former workers to retain membership is going to result in great difficultly proving it's an IR35 indicator.

    I think you really are trying to make a mountain out of a miniature model ant hill
    You're probably right but I'm pointing out the facts to the OP and he can make their own decision. They asked ' my question is would the use of an Ode debit card or Eduroam infringe IR35? ' and I believe it's a clear yes. Large or small issue aside, that's the answer (IMO). From the king of pedantry I though you'd appreciate that

    I'm confused why retired and former workers makes a difference, it's still a benefit that was offered to employees of the healthcare system, which the OP is not.

    Should the OP take it? They've already made their mind up IMO. I'm just pointing out the facts to someone that I believe is blinkered in to taking it so not seeing the other side. We've seen this plenty of times where a poster wants to do something that they've convinced themselves is OK, I'm just pointing out the bits they've missed or don't want to hear.

    If nothing else it's kind of interesting digging in to it as we haven't been asked this before.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 25 July 2021, 17:28.

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  • eek
    replied
    Anything where they allow retired and former workers to retain membership is going to result in great difficultly proving it's an IR35 indicator.

    I think you really are trying to make a mountain out of a miniature model ant hill

    Leave a comment:


  • northernladuk
    replied
    IMO it does have something to do with IR35. You are using your client to get it. It's available to employees so very much has something to do with IR35. Yes, the terms are a bit woolly but if you look in the FAQ's for the card it says

    You will need a valid/current work email address to sign up. If you don't have an email address but work within the health sector, please reach out and contact your HR or IT department to obtain one. That way, you can sign up.
    You don't work in the sector, you are a supplier supplying service to a client that works in the sector. By saying you are working in the sector through your association with your client that will be seen as a flag to being part and parcel of the org. IR35 flag. The fact it mentions HR or IT dept would indicate it's for employees. HR isn't for suppliers.

    So they don't mention it explicitly as I expect the didn't envisage suppliers wanting it so didn't need to be clear.

    Also.. if you need your clients email to register what are you going to do when you leave the gig and lose the email address, you are going to lose access to it so it's only a benefit while you are working for that client. Pain in the ass to close it down when you can't contact them and prove who you are without the address.

    You can apply for the Ode through the healthservicediscounts site which says...

    Our discounts scheme is for all staff who work in the health service sector, in any role.

    This includes everyone who works in the NHS, private hospitals, agency/bank staff, GP staff, dental practice, pharmacy staff, hospice staff, all retired staff, healthcare volunteers and healthcare related charity staff.
    You are not staff, and you do not work IN the the NHS, you supply to them. Suppliers are not mentioned in that list.

    If you think you are eligible just because you have an email then you are just kidding yourself. A court will see through this in an instant.

    If you want discounts for your industry why not just join IPSE?
    Last edited by northernladuk; 25 July 2021, 13:51.

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  • tomhafiz
    replied
    Thanks, quite a lot of mixed opinions but mostly on it being an industry benefit and nothing to do with IR35. I've checked the Ode debit card terms and conditions and it's just a standard banking t&c - no mention of employees. It does seem just an industry benefit and nothing to do with employers benefits (pension, gym membership, subsidised canteens, etc) as it's not something that employers are providing, just something a bank is providing to people in various industries (healthcare, education, charities, etc, basically a different flavour of Ode card for each industry).

    I've looked at the eduroam.org site but couldn't find strict terms and conditions there, only an AUP so perhaps something to be avoided when travelling around the world and I should just use a hotspot. I've just thought of another industry benefit - Apple education discount through the Apple education portal, no idea if that is marked for employees or anyone in the industry and I don't have the time to check. There are surely other indirect benefits too in various industries that contractors work in....

    I did google this question of indirect benefits and IR35 determination before asking on this forum as I thought it would be a common question but I was surprised to find no information whatsoever on the HMRC site or on any forum, I guess no one has asked about these things before.

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  • northernladuk
    replied
    Originally posted by eek View Post

    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.
    True but for me the blurb attached to the benefits the OP suggests is key. If it's employee focussed and is clearly meant for employees then there is the answer. If somewhere in the T&C's it says anyone then OK. But if the OP is asking if this is an IR35 issue you can't for one minute think a court won't ignore the focus of 'employees' in the literature. You could be totally right about the different relationship but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

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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.

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  • 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.

    Leave a comment:


  • 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.

    Leave a comment:

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