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Taxpayer wins IR35 case in S&L Barnes

30 January 2023 / Dave Chaplin
Issue: 4874 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , IR35 , off payroll , Compliance
It’s a knockout

Key points

  • The First-tier Tribunal has decided that the IR35 rules did not apply in S&L Barnes Ltd.
  • The same judge decided three previous cases with almost identical contractual terms and reached a different conclusion.
  • The cases are extremely fact-sensitive and it is highly relevant that two of the four cases were heard before the Atholl House decision.
  • HMRC had wrongly been taking a narrow approach when applying the intermediaries legislation since the 2011 decision in Weightwatchers.
  • The correct way to apply either version of the intermediaries legislation is to follow the three stages in CRC v Kickabout Productions Ltd.
  • In SBL one powerful factor was that the presenter was found to be in business on his own account although HMRC counsel sought to downplay this.
  • HMRC is unlikely to win an appeal to SLB.

A tax appeal brought by S & L Barnes Limited (TC8697) (SLB) (

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