Your IR35 status is indicated by the terms of your contract and by several factors including, but not limited to, control, substitution, and mutuality of obligation. We’ll explain these further:
- Control: what amount of control does your end-client have over how, when and where you complete the work laid out in your contract?
- Substitution: can you, or are you required to, send someone to complete the work in your place?
- Mutuality of obligation: is your end-client obligated to provide you with work and pay you for it, and are you obligated to accept?
These three terms alone can be confusing, and attempting to make sense of your contract terms based on IR35 terminology can be tedious and could lead to you making an incorrect assumption of your IR35 status. If you or your recruitment agency are unsure, it is always recommended to seek the advice of a tax status expert who can review your contracts, help re-draft contracts for IR35, and even provide representation in the event that HMRC investigates you for potential backdated tax owed.
If you are a contractor in the public sector from 6 April 2017, you are not able to determine your own IR35 status – it must be determined by the public sector body providing you with the assignment. Find out more about IR35 and the public sector.