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back to article Moving from permie to mercenary? Avoid a fine - listen to Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin said that nothing in this world is certain except death and taxes. He also coined the idea that “time is money”, and once wrote that “wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy”, so we can assume that he would have understood contractors pretty well. Taxes may be certain, but the amount …

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Looks up, checks calendar.

Wasn't all this stuff done to death and reached the same conclusions over 10 years ago, when IR35 was a "live" issue. These days there doesn't seem to be anything new, except the Jimmy Carr reference and the inevitable few contractors who still think they can get away with it (or their lawyers, who really should know better by now - surely it's wandering into the realms of professional misconduct for them still to be advising clients that they can avoid their taxes in this way?).

Most contractors of that era just did what I did: go "legit" and bump your rates up to make up the difference. Job done.

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Re: Looks up, checks calendar.

It's a none issue because HMRC have pretty much given up on it:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/freedom/ir35-status-enqs.htm

Most contractors still operate as if IR35 doesn't exist.

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JDX
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Re: Looks up, checks calendar.

The HMRC business tests were introduced last year. IR35 is something the tories said they'd scrap but didn't.

It's still a current issue.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looks up, checks calendar.

Jimmy Carr used a dodgy tax avoidance method, meaning he & his company earned very little profit and he then 'borrowed' the money from another company...

Very dodgy, even if I was suggested something like that, I would tell them to go swivel, I like my money to be mine...

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Re: Looks up, checks calendar.

The "business test" questionnaire is designed to be so woolly that it allows any conclusion to be reached about any contractor. It does not provide the clarity that was expected of it. So it is of little use, and their is nothing you can do about its provisions.

Maybe HMRC could tell who the real contractors are by, you know, just looking ? Here is your typical pretend-contractor:

- he/she often works in the public sector, doing the same job in the same office year after year. Lives near work. Often is a manager with reporting staff. Is thus indistinguishable from permanent staff. Uses the Ltd company merely as a ruse.

Now the real contractor:

- Typical contract length 3 or 6 months, inter spaced with non-contract periods almost as long. Works over an hour from home. Lives in crappy hotels. Has costs of £1000+ per month. Uses the Ltd company because big clients don't deal with sole traders.

The real contractor is indubitably a real contractor because nobody would behave like that if they weren't.

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Re: Looks up, checks calendar. @JDX

The Tories didn't say they would scrap it

They said they would review it

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Re: Looks up, checks calendar.

Unfortunately none of those things mean you pass IR35.

The real contractor has multiple concurrent clients, does everything as fixed-price work packages rather than by the hour or day, and doesn't listen to the slightest thing the client tries to tell him what to do.

Of course this means the real contractor gets fired a lot...

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Re: Jimmy Carr

You may think that Jimmy Carr's former tax arrangement was funny-meaning-peculiar - so do I and so does he - but it seems to have been and to still be legal to do that - I am not a lawyer. He himself didn't like it and found it embarrassing once he asked his accountant about it. I'm a bit disappointed, as I would have preferred him to stand up to the government, but, of course, that would get him severely audited. Does that sound like the tax man being corrupt and acting against the political enemies of the government? Well, fancy that.

I don'et exactly understand how it works, but the explanation does seem to be that your income goes into a company that you control, and then the company lends you money - which isn't in the interest of a real company but that doesn't matter. And because the money is only lent to you, you don't pay tax on it. You also don't ever pay the loan back.

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Re: Jimmy Carr

Soooo - A loan you never repay - or to call a spade a spade a gift - pretty sure you can be taxed on gifts (you certainly can in Denmark).

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Anonymous Coward

All good advice, but in reality the contract means very little when it gets to the Special Commissioners.

As a contractor, I ensure my contracts are IR35 friendly, but I've found that working practices are far more important. I think that, along with D&C (Direction and Control) and MOO (Mutuality of Obligation) are the true indications of disguised employment. Beat those and you should be good when it comes to IR35.

And having a good legal team helps, too.

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Paris Hilton

Sorry, being a yank, I'm missing something...

Is the issue that the guy was a 'captured' employee or that instead of running a payroll he just declared everything a dividend and avoided paying the tax?

In the states, you really can't do that.

If you don't incorporate, your 1099 money gets taxed as income and you will have to pay yourself a salary out of it and pay payroll taxes.

If you do incorporate, the client has to 1099 your corporation and you then have to show your income, expenses, salary, pre-tax deductions, taxes and then dividends which are taxed at ordinary income but you don't pay social security (payroll taxes)

So what am I missing?

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Re: Sorry, being a yank, I'm missing something...

1) IR35 only catches you if you have a limited company where you own more than 5% of the shares and do the chargeable work yourself. In other words in your terms if you incorporate but don't conduct your business as a business.

2) If you're caught by IR35 95% of the receipts of your company are deemed to be income and you're charged income tax and National Insurance on them. If you're not caught by IR35 you can pay yourself by alternative methods which attract less tax and NI.

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Re: Sorry, being a yank, I'm missing something...

1) IR35 only catches you if you have a limited company where you own more than 5% of the shares and do the chargeable work yourself. In other words in your terms if you incorporate but don't conduct your business as a business.

Would two companies help?

Company 1 does the stuff with the client and hires Company 2 to do the work?

Company 2 is wholly owned by Company 1 yet the employee is of Company 2.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry, being a yank, I'm missing something...

2) If you're caught by IR35 95% of the receipts of your company are deemed to be income and you're charged income tax and National Insurance on them.

And the rest. You have to pay 11-14% in employer based national insurance contributions. If you are employed at £100k then your take home is about £65k, if you are a contractor, caught by IR35, then your take home is about £56k and you get none of the benefits of employment.

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Re: Sorry, being a yank, I'm missing something...

"And the rest. You have to pay 11-14% in employer based national insurance contributions. If you are employed at £100k then your take home is about £65k, if you are a contractor, caught by IR35, then your take home is about £56k and you get none of the benefits of employment."

The interesting thing is that its kinda the same in the US.

If you take a person who works for a company, and is paid a $100,000 salary, he gets taxed on his salary.

If you are a consultant and bill @ $50.00 for 2000 hours in a year, you make $100,000. gross.

In terms of taxes, you pay the corporations taxes plus what you would have normally paid. However, you have a lot more deductions that an employee doesn't get. To be fair, you come out ahead as an employee.

However... companies pay a premium to consultants. This premium ends up being greater than the taxes, and benefits of being an employee, not to mention you have the ability to pick and choose your projects.

In the US... its a bit different. Hopefully I can explain it.

You incorporate as an S Corp.

You earn money, and you pay your business expenses which become pre-tax deductions.

(Health Insurance, business expenses... etc...) The rest could be used for salary, or left in the company.

If left in the company, you pay a corporate tax. If you to take it out as salary, you pay taxes on the salary.

If you keep it in the company, you get taxed twice, once as corporate income, once has salary. Note you can take it out as a dividend, and while you escape payroll tax, the dividend is taxed as ordinary income.

In short... you end up with roughly the same result of IR35.

Thx for the input.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't mess with the revenue ...

Many years ago, just leaving Uni, I become a director in my Dad's business. It was a family affair. Me, my brother, my Mum, and my Dad. Times were hard so I still lived at home (as did my brother). To keep money in the business, we drew the minimum wage. Living in London we had no need of a car.

****ing revenue decided my brother and I were Lester Piggot or Ken Dodd, and that we couldn't possibly be earning so little. So they started an investigation which went on for 3 years, and required two full audits (at considerable cost) before they dropped it. Even then it was only at the point where I was expected to provide names and addresses of some friends who I had booked some airline tickets *with* (you saw £1,000 go in, and £1,500 go out on the same day) that they realised they'd overstepped the mark, and the middle-aged childless (the worst kind, my accountant said. They have nothing else to do) inspector was told to close the case. Result ? £3,000 out of pocket we couldn't recover (even though the revenue admitted there was nothing wrong at all).

Funniest lesson from the whole experience is not to keep too good records. When they first started investigating, I was asked for my bank statements. So by return post I supplied them with copies going back 10 years - to when I opened the account. Apparently NO-ONE does that.

I have maintained a healthy contempt for HMRC ever since.

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Big Brother

Re: Don't mess with the revenue ...

- Open a business: You are retarded or a closet criminal.

- Pay yourself too little: Something smells, probably a weird taxhaven trick.

- Pay yourself too much: You are draining the business to death and exploiting the employees.

- Work overtime: You are taking away the jobs of others.

- Work undertime: You are exploiting the demoralized employees.

- Go into receivership: You are criminal leech on society.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't mess with the revenue ... or the Finanzamt

I worked as a contractor in Germany in the not too distant past. After a couple of years I headed to pastures new, believing I had paid my dues and that all was well with myself and the Fatherland.

I received an email last year from the Finanzamt (the German Tax office) asking me to turn up to court in 3 weeks at the regional HQ of the region of Germany I worked in. This was the first contact I had had with them.

Long story short, for a relatively minor infraction, I was nailed with EUR 120k bill in back taxes and penalties. As well as having to hand over many thousands the tax accountant and lawyer I had to engage.

HMRC are little fluffy kittens by comparison.

Don't fuck with the Germans.

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Big Brother

One may recall that Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) lived in a time in which there was no income tax in the first place.

So one should not trot him out with a statement that today has quite a bit a different meaning. Yeah I know, progressive thinking demands that tax slavery be regarded as more freedom, but it's a slightly revolting thought at best.

The Origin of the Income Tax

The first proposal to impose an income tax on America occurred during the War of 1812. After two years of war, the federal government had accumulated a then-staggering $100 million of debt. To fund the war against Britain, the government doubled the rates of its major source of revenue, customs duties on imports, which obstructed trade and ended up yielding less revenue than the previous lower rates. At the height of the war, excise taxes were imposed on goods and commodities, and housing, slaves and land were taxed. After the war ended in 1816, these taxes were repealed and instead a high tariff was passed to retire the accumulated war debt. Thankfully, the notion of an income tax was defeated.

However, the malevolent spirit of the income tax reappeared as a measure to fund the Union armies in the war to prevent the secession of the Confederacy. The war was expensive, costing on average $1,750,000 a day. Struggling to meet this expenditure, the Republican Congress borrowed heavily, doubled tariff rates (the Morrill Tariff initially provoked the Deep South to secede), sold off public lands, imposed a maze of licensing fees, increased old excise tax rates and created new excise taxes. But none of this was enough.

In July 1861, the Congress passed a 3% tax on all net income above $600 a year (about $10,000 today). However, no revenue was ever raised because a second tax passed before the first was due (on June 30, 1862). The war's demand on resources made the earlier tax ineffective, and the sale of bonds could not keep up with the expenditures of the administration and the armies. In March, the Congress passed an income tax of 3% on annual incomes of $600 to $10,000 and 5% on incomes from $10,000 to $50,000 and threw in a small inheritance tax too. Lincoln signed the bill on July 1, 1862 to take effect a month later. The Union debt then stood at $505 million. This tax also included the first appearance of withholding and was applied to federal salaries and on interest and dividends.

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Tax slavery?

Who is going to pay for the schools, hospitals, roads, etc etc?

Trust a contractor to have a sociopathic view of taxation. I am a contractor btw, but I pay my taxes happily because it's a moral obligation. Enough with the Ayn Rand guff already.

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That's exactly the mindeset I'm talking about. With a gratuitous Ayn Rand bait thrown in.

> I pay my taxes happily because it's a moral obligation.

Hahaha. No. The primary means of taxation is to pay for the wars and the nice people in the bureaucracy that tell you how to think, that manage your life and make it hell.

But feel free to transfer all of your income to state's coffers. Just keep a little something for your retirement. Oh wait, it's being inflated away. Never mind.

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JDX
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I pay my taxes happily because it's a moral obligation

You are flat out, 100%, absolutely wrong. It's a legal obligation. If they reduced the tax rate 5% you wouldn't feel morally obligated to still pay the same amount you do now, would you?

Being outside IR35 is not about not paying tax. You pay 20% off the top as company tax, then you pay tax on dividends as well. Being inside IR35, you pay employee NI AND employer NI AND income tax... way more tax than an employee earning the same amount would do.

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Re: I pay my taxes happily because it's a moral obligation

Am I allowed to withhold my portion of tax that goes to MOD, GCHQ and 'projects' like all the failed NHS stuff and the farcical HS2? Not to mention private jet charters to errr... climate conventions.

No. because ethics and morality don't enter into it.

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Anonymous Coward

Plenty of other taxes around though.

eg from Wikipedia "The Stamp Act of 1765 was the fourth Stamp Act to be passed by the Parliament of Great Britain and required all legal documents, permits, commercial contracts, newspapers, wills, pamphlets, and playing cards in the American colonies to carry a tax stamp"

and numerous tariffs on imports.

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Tax slavery?

@ marcyd

"I pay my taxes happily because it's a moral obligation"

Moral obligation could be to look after your fellow man. To help your people. To help your country. To provide for the future generations.

Do feel free to tell me how your tax does this. You pay tax because the ruling mafia will arrest and imprison you if you dont. Your money will be used to pay administration of administration of departments for the thinking about administration. If you do earn enough for it to actually filter through to being used it will be spent on war, MOD projects never to arrive on time nor budget and pet projects. Maybe your tax money might see the NHS or education system, likely in some form of interference or wasting. And finally it could be used in the spin to tell you your moral obligation to pay tax.

We are in a recession after huge boom years where all the money was spent and more was borrowed. Yet only when this gov got in and clearly stated a load of jobs were being cut was any work done. The police actually started to show up in our area to crimes (this was new) and very recently we have seen pot holes and dangerously bad speed bumps being fixed.

Taxation for the good of the people is a collective good thing you could feel a moral obligation for. Our current state of tax and administration (going back as long as I have been paying attention) is a thieving exercise which has proven itself amazing by convincing you it is for some greater good or even moral.

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Holmes

Re: Tax slavery?

Moral obligation could be to look after your fellow man. To help your people. To help your country. To provide for the future generations.

Do feel free to tell me how your tax does this

Public schools.

Public health care.

Public roads.

Other public infrastructure.

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Re: Tax slavery?

"Public schools.

Public health care.

Public roads.

Other public infrastructure."

Unfortunately tax really doesn't pay for any of that. Any more than National insurance covers the Dole or the State Pension.

It's all a con trick for the hard of accounting.

The public sector is provisioned by the government spending money - essentially on an overdraft at the Bank of England. That then generates taxation as a matter of construction for any non-zero tax rate - automatically clearing the overdraft. The remaining income moves onto the next person in the income chain and the process repeats until the money disappears in taxation. It's a mathematical progression.

So government spending is a matter of whether there are real resources available to do what they need to do. If there is, then they can be deployed for the public purpose.

Taxation is there to stop the economy overheating and there being too much demand for certain resources. How much taxation is required depends upon how much excess saving there is (ie people essentially taxing themselves by not spending or by paying down debt).

To sum up in monetary terms government spending causes the taxation and saving necessary to pay for that spending.

Now distributionally you can argue that it is unfair that the self-employed are taxed differently from the employed. And you'd be right - there is no good reason that the burden should be shared in that unfair way. But your taxation or lack of it still doesn't actually pay for anything overall.

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Re: Tax slavery?

@ Steve Knox

"Public schools.

Public health care.

Public roads.

Other public infrastructure."

You might want to read the comment before replying. That way you are less likely to amuse me with a demonstration of ignorance or stupidity. By stating items I already discredited you can only look stupid. Now if you would like to debate if your money actually makes it that far and is actually put to some good use then feel free. That would certainly be more intelligent

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I left the UK end of 2001 after a run in with the Inland Robbingyou on this topic. I paid up what they claimed I owed them, was easier than fighting and found work abroad where the systems are more contractor friendly.

Never regretted the decision, lots of IT/telecomms work elsewhere and in the Middle East you pretty well keep everything you earn.

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Wouldn't having multiple customers on the books concurrently also sort out that problem?

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JDX
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They claim each contract is independently viewed as inside/outside, but you'd have to assume in reality it sends a clear signal you aren't someone to bother investigating!

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Anonymous Coward

Concurrently could be seen as you having two jobs...

Its often down to your work conditions.

As I usually work remotely when the client permits, and I am not directed in how to do the task I am contracted to complete, and I generally use my own equipment where possible (obviously I have to use client equipment like servers etc, but usually its my own PC/Laptop I use unless there is a specific requirement, and I try to keep that kind of contract very short)

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Paris Hilton

"Wouldn't having multiple customers on the books concurrently also sort out that problem?...."

The more the merrier - it's a strong pointer to you being outhwith IR35 - but not by itself a guarantee.

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One law for the rich

Around here where I work there are cleaners. Many of them have been here for years and years. Apparently, they work for Balfor Beatty and not us. That means we don't owe them any of the employee benefits or rights which employees, who may have worked here for a much shorter time, are entitled to by law.

But then, I work for a big organization and the cleaners are just a bunch of poor Mexicans that no one gives a damn about.

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Silver badge

Perhaps someone more expert than I can explain it, but AFAIK IR35 will also bite the company that's paying your fees (they could get stung for employer's NI, which is a lot). So it's in both your interests to ensure that you're as IR35 compliant as possible, and a chat with their HR or Legal people may be a good idea.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Chris Miller

Sadly, no.

The IR35 investigation is into the contractor and their Ltd Company. The agency they are working through and / or the end client arent involved and dont face any risks.

Agencies have made a bit of effort to IR35-friendly their contracts but this is probably more of a way of keeping contractors happy than protecting from the taxman.

It also points to my problem with the article - unless you are negotiating directly with an end client (which is getting as rare as hens teeth these days), your contract will be one of service with an Employment Agency (Reed, Hudson, Parity, Hays etc).

Spending good money to have an IR35 accountant look one of these over is basically as complete waste. It will be a standard contract for the agency, and in the event that your accountant does have some issues, the agency will simply get a different contractor rather than change it.

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Re: @ Chris Miller

As I said, I'm no tax expert. But the employer's NI could be of the same magnitude as the tax difference between self-employed and employee status, so it seems odd that HMRC would just walk away from it. But then many things HMRC does strike the outside world as odd.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Chris Miller

Well that would be why to not deal with one of those agencies... I never have...

Agencies I have worked for have and do alter their contracts when I point something out that is worded badly or limits me in too forceful a way...

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Headmaster

FUD

"Perhaps someone more expert than I can explain it, but AFAIK IR35 will also bite the company that's paying your fees (they could get stung for employer's NI, which is a lot)..."

No. That was some of the FUD garbage initially put about by Dawn Primarollo, the then Paymaster General, and the beloved Gordon Brown, when they first brought in the legislation. Client companies are only exposed to liability for things like NI [if the contractor doesn't pay what he/she owes to HMRC] - if and only if - the contractor is engaged on a 'Self-Employed' basis (i.e no contractor ltd co involved - and tax and NI assesed under schedule D) - which, immediately proves (according to the IR35 legislation) that he/she is outwith the scope of IR35.

IR35 clearly states that all liability is passed on to the contractor (using a ltd co - not schedule D self-employed) if they fall foul of the IR35 legislation.

[Note also - nobody can be schedule D self-employed and going via an agencey - as prior legisaltion already stated that agencies can only supply people they employe directly or contract with on a ltd co to ltd co basis].

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC ( was Re: @ Chris Miller )

Well that would be why to not deal with one of those agencies... I never have...

Agencies I have worked for have and do alter their contracts when I point something out that is worded badly or limits me in too forceful a way...

You are in a very fortunate position then. In the last 10 years I have worked with 14 different agencies and not one has budged an inch on the wording of the engagement contract.

However, as far as I can tell, there has also never been a successful IR35 action against a contractor working through them, despite the "specialist accountants" finding problems with the wording of the contracts.

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Nobody gets let off

Unless they're called Vodafone, then they can say what they're willing to pay

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Anonymous Coward

No mess with the revenue - they deserve it

Somewhat more sensibly - they are a public, accountable process and should be challenged when they over step their mark. Try an MPs surgery meeting.

Whilst on special leave without pay from the Civil service they challenged me to prove I had no taxable income. Oh the fun i had chopping logic with them.

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Re: No mess with the revenue - they deserve it

Apologies in advance for linking to the Daily Heil, but this article is worth it...

Interesting ways to screw with bureaucracy and red tape that Patrick Moore came up with.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254467/How-drive-jobsworths-potty-IN-devilishly-inventive-manifesto-late-astronomer-Sir-Patrick-Moore-tells-fought-box-ticking-bullies.html

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Anonymous Coward

Staying outside the IR35 is easy, if you get caught its your own fault for flaunting the rules..

The secret is to be a real contractor not a permie by another name, IR35 is simply there to catch the idiots who think they can avoid tax & companies that think they can bypass employment laws and save money...

Be sure to never get to complacent in one place (Contracting is not for the faint of heart or those who live payday to payday).

Make sure your job has clearly a defined role, with an expected outcome and end date.

Also if possible do your contracted work remotely and use your own equipment if you can (often security reasons mean they want you to use their gear, but resist if you can), often there is no need to be on the premises if your in IT.

I like being an IT contractor, it means every 3-6 months I get a change, a new place to work and a new challenge.

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Silver badge

You've nailed it. Real IT contractors should be moving fairly quickly. I was there to solve a specific problem or find a solution to a specific challenge. I did it then I left with a lot more money in my pocket. It is demanding and stressful but is also fun and pays a lot to be a legitimate contractor. Getting tricked into the semi-permanent positions is just shit. Although I do understand a lot of people have to accept those roles if they want any work at all.

Here in the US it is the norm now to hire temps and contractors for everything. Temps are let go before their 90 probationary period is over (no benefits that way) then rehired 30 days later. People spend decades on the temp treadmill going round and round to the same jobs but never getting hired full time. Contractors can get locked into long term contract where your pay increases with time spent but you have to provide exclusivity (not legal in some states).

It all sucks. People abusing a system that was supposed to be for specialized work and making it the near-standard.

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Headmaster

@ Don Jefe

" Real IT contractors should be moving fairly quickly..."

Not so. That's a tail wagging the dog strategy. If you are adopting that approach, you've not understood the IR35 legislation.

" Contractors can get locked into long term contract where your pay increases with time spent but you have to provide exclusivity (not legal in some states)...."

Any contract in the UK that requires exclusitivity is caught by the IR35 legistaltion - you are a de facto employee of the client and not a contractor.

The laws in the UK and US for contractors are really quite different.

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Silver badge

I realize the laws are different but I don't think the differences are there between contractors being contractors.

I've always operated with the mentality that contractors and outsourced work have the same strengths and weaknesses. They are, ideally, the same thing anyway. They are perfect for one off or out of expertise projects but you lose any advantage of a vested worker(s) who cares if the company does well and you lose a lot of flexibility. If you've got something that needs doing all the time you need staff for that, either that or better planning.

An excellent example of employee value vs contractor value is Edward Snowden. He had no loyalty to the NSA nor Booz Allen because they had no loyalty to him. Tens of thousands of people inside knew what was going on but nobody said anything because the inside staff are loyal, they've got a vested interest in their work and they have stability.

I was an independent contractor for a decade and its where I got my first big break, but I was always being careful to not get locked in but have none of the advantages of being locked in. On my last contracting job I was hired on as senior management to see the company through its IPO and I was OK with that because even though I took an initial pay cut I gained benefits and stability. It is a trade off everyone had to make for themselves but I think it is poor form on the part of the client to permanently exclude mission important people from being staff just to save a few bucks. It's bad faith on the part of the client.

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"Real IT contractors should be moving fairly quickly"

There is no reason that contractors can't stay working for one client for as long as they want.

In case law the longest somebody has worked for one client and still been self-employed is about 20 years.

And that's because they were self-determined in all other aspects.

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Headmaster

@Don Jefe

"I realize the laws are different but I don't think the differences are there between contractors being contractors..."

The point I was making was about the poster before you who seemed unaware that to be outside of IR35 your starting point needs to be a "Contract FOR ServiceS" i.e. that is what a ltd co to ltd co would have. If you have a "Contract OF Service" (and a lot!!! of the agencey contracts would fall into that category) i.e. that's the same type of contract an employee would have.

In investigating IR35 status if your contract isn't a "Contract FOR ServiceS" [and there's rather more to it than just sticking a title at the top of it] - then HMRC *are not obliged* to look any further in deciding that you are indeed caught by the legislation and are a "disguised employee". The length of the contract is a complete irrelevance, in this case. Sadly, all too many contractors remain blissfully ignorant of this. Their own working arrangements may be that of a stone wall contractor - doesn't matter a jot if their contract is not up to scratch.

If - and only if - you clearly have a "Contract FOR ServiceS", are HMRC then required to examine your working practices, to detemine your status.

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One way around it?

I thought I had found a way to get around any issues with the taxman.

Get into bed with one of the (female) staff! Lots of noisy wild monkey sex, the occasional meal cooked and a little cleaning every so often; with someone who knows the rules to sort things out if the taxman gets shirty.

Unfortunately, she decided that the rumpy wasn't pumpy enough; and then went back into work and decided that I needed to be audited. Spent the next couple of years with someone delving into each nook and cranny (and not in a good way).

Don't f*** with the taxman or his staff!

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