Off-payroll working rules (IR35) can apply if a worker (sometimes known as a contractor) provides their services through their own limited company or another type of intermediary to the client.
An intermediary will usually be the worker’s own personal service company, but could also be any of the following:
- a partnership
- a personal service company
- an individual
The rules make sure that workers, who would have been an employee if they were providing their services directly to the client, pay broadly the same Income Tax and National Insurance contributions as employees. These rules are sometimes known as ‘IR35’.
The client is the organisation who is or will be receiving the services of a contractor. They may also be known as the engager, hirer, or end client.
From 6 April 2017, public authorities became responsible for deciding if the rules applied where they contracted workers who provide services through their own intermediary.
From 6 April 2021, all public authorities and medium and large-sized clients outside the public sector are responsible for deciding if the rules apply.
If a worker provides services to a small client outside the public sector, the worker’s intermediary is responsible for deciding the worker’s employment status and if the rules apply.
You may be affected by these rules if you are:
- a worker who provides their services through their intermediary
- a client who receives services from a worker through their intermediary
- an agency providing workers’ services through their intermediary
If the rules apply, Income Tax and employee National Insurance contributions must be deducted from fees and paid to HMRC. In addition, employer National Insurance contributions and Apprenticeship Levy, if applicable, must be paid to HMRC by the person who pays the worker’s intermediary.
You can use the HMRC “Check Employment Status for Tax” service to help you decide if the off-payroll working rules apply.
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