How near do you think this is to falling within IR35?
I’d be interested in views as to how near (or far) the following might be from falling within IR35. By all means ask for further clarification if required.
- Do consultancy tasks (through a “service company”) for one client for several years providing skill and expertise that the client does not have.
- Not precluded from doing work for others (but have not done so in recent years).
- Company has been trading for over 20 years.
- No written contract.
- Tasks vary from as little as half-hour to several days often spread out over a few weeks. Note that it is not known at the outset that a particular task may take more than a day or so – it depends on the feedback from the client’s customers / potential customers.
- Overall, on a monthly basis, time spent can vary from a few hours to a number of days (rarely more than 4 or 5 days in a month, although on one occasion it went as high as 13 days).
- Work from home on own (no control or supervision) using own equipment.
- No ongoing mutuality of obligation, although it could be argued that once a task is started, it is anticipated that it will be seen through (e.g. similar to if one engaged a lawyer to deals with contracts for a customer – one would expect that he would see it through). But at no time is there an obligation to take on new tasks or for the client to provide new tasks.
- Within the demands of the tasks (e.g. timely replies), work is carried out whenever it suits.
- Theoretically, could be liable for consequences of poor / faulty work, both in terms of redoing at no additional fee or even for loss of profits etc. of the client. It might ever come to this in practice, but the potential is there.
- No benefits in kind – just fees billed quarterly at a daily rate.
- Substitution is not excluded, but then neither is it included (as said before, no written contract and it has never come up).
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