Re: Downvoters, get ready ....
"none of the doom that was predicted back then has come to pass"
From my (admittedly) limited understanding of the subject, I think HMRC have lost numerous IR35 cases that have actually been taken to court. So the doom and gloom was halted by people challenging HMRC's interpretation of their own tax laws, and winning.
Then, HMRC decide to have another crack at it.
This was all supposed to combat those PSC body shops that were actually hiring people as disguised employees, yet it's somehow morphed into trying to catch out genuine contractors.
For example, I exclusively do project work for clients (i.e. there is a definite end to the project and revenue stream) - renewals are based on how the project is proceeding. As soon as it's done, I'm out.
However, since I work in security it's pretty hard to argue a valid use of the right to substitution, since I'm not in a position to provide the necessary security checks often required for the work I do.
In addition, I am often forced to utilize provided equipment by the client, as they don't want uncontrolled devices running around on their secure networks for some reason.
I do, however, at all times act as an independent contractor. I tell them when I'm taking a break, although out of professional courtesy I inquire as to whether they anticipate any issues arising from me taking some time off and I consider their response.
I also take care to ensure they tell me what they want to be done, but it is up to me how I achieve it (within the bounds of the field I work in).
Some of these things mark me as a proper contractor, others (according to HMRC) mark me out as an employee - mostly because they don't seem to understand that their blanket approach doesn't cover many bespoke situations (such as mine) - and so they try force ir35 based on some arbitrary rule, contractor challenges it, goes to court and the judge (who looks at the whole picture) decides I'm a contractor and HMRC loses the case.
What exactly don't they like about contractors like me? It feels like persecution to be honest. You don't see electricians or plumbers being treated like this (afaik) - for example if a building contractor takes on some sparkies for a big job that lasts 3-4 years - are they suddenly employees? Of course not.