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CEST tool fails to determine status of 210,000 contractors

29 June 2021
Issue: 4798 / Categories: News

HMRC’s check employment status for tax (CEST) tool was used 1 018 250 times between 25 November 2019 and 31 May 2021 according to recently updated statistics. The figures show the tool delivered the following results:

  • 499 974 were deemed outside IR35;
  • 308 176 were deemed inside IR35; and
  • 210 100 were undetermined.

Qdos chief executive officer Seb Maley said: ‘I am astonished that the government still stands by an IR35 tool that hasn’t been able to make up its mind over 210 000 times. Here we have proof that CEST has left hundreds of thousands of contractors and businesses in limbo unsure of whether a contract belongs inside or outside IR35.’

He was interested to find out what had happened to the undetermined engagements questioning whether HMRC has the resource to offer support on this scale.

He said that businesses should remember that CEST is not mandatory...

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