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Computer says 'No'!

01 December 2005 / David Smith
Issue: 4036 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , IR35 , Business , Income Tax
DAVID SMITH considers HMRC's employment status indicator tool and asks whether it is up to the job.

EMPLOYMENT STATUS IS a hugely topical issue that crops up time and again whether in the context of the traditional argument of employed versus self employed IR35 or in employment law claims.
Those practitioners who become involved in this area will be aware of the weaknesses in HMRC's manuals and leaflets the most common criticism being that such publications are really not up to date or do not reflect the true state of the law. Even the amended booklet IR56 Employed or self employed? A guide to employment status for tax and National Insurance contributions has come in for much criticism — see 'Clarification or confusion?' by Kevin Miller (Taxation 26 August 2004 page 553).
So when HMRC come out with a shiny new bit of kit in this case a computerised employment status indicator (ESI) we all hope...

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