IR35 contract reviews: Find out if your contract is inside or outside IR35

By Patrick Carter, membership co-ordinator at The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed

If you are worried about IR35, one way you can protect yourself is by getting your contract reviewed.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) gives you access to a dedicated IR35 contract review service, provided by Markel Tax, so you can have your contract professionally assessed on whether it falls inside or outside of the legislation. This is a crucial part of protecting yourself against the IR35 changes due to come in this April. 

If required, the contract review team will suggest appropriate changes where they believe there is a risk, or an area of concern, and they can even rereview the contract after the suggested changes have been made at no additional cost.

Once the contract is assessed to be outside of IR35 you will be provided with a certificate confirming this. This means you can be as confident as possible knowing that your contract is compliant.

Why get an IR35 contract review? 

IPSE strongly recommends that you have your contract reviewed before you start work as it ensures that any dangers in the contract are spotted early enough to correct them. Plus, if you are subjected to a tax enquiry by HMRC, it also shows that you have taken sensible precautions.

Even if you have already started your engagement, we would advise you have your contract reviewed as it will still assist in the event of an investigation, and can give you peace of mind to know that you shouldn’t get caught out by the legislation.

Our Director of Policy, Andy Chamberlain, explains the importance of contract reviews: “In any IR35 investigation, HMRC’s first port of call is the written contract. The clauses contained within it are carefully scrutinised for signs that the engagement might fall foul of the notoriously complex case law which underpins IR35 status.

“IPSE has always strongly advised that members have their contracts professionally reviewed to ensure that nothing in there could be used against them or trigger further, unwanted attention from the Revenue.”

How can I get my self-employment contract reviewed?

IPSE makes the process for submitting your contract review straightforward. It is all done via the IPSE website and as a member we will have most of your details already. Make sure you are logged in when you begin the application process and your member’s discount will be applied automatically.

To complete the application process, you will be required to provide a digital copy of the contract for review. You will also need to download and complete a working practices questionnaire which must also be submitted before the review can begin. This questionnaire is fairly detailed, so that the review team can make an accurate assessment of your situation.

How long does it take to have my contract reviewed?

There are two different options for the turnaround time of the review and both options are offered at a discount for IPSE members. A regular contract review takes five working days and costs £145.00 (+VAT) for members, while if you need the review done urgently, we also offer an Express service which is completed in one working day. The Express review costs £340.00 (+VAT) for members.

Please be aware that this service is an IR35 contract review only and unfortunately the team are unable to conduct other types of contract review.

If you have any questions about our contract reviews, or any other aspect of IPSE membership, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the membership team at membership@ipse.co.uk or on 0208 897 9970.

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