Self-employed: Tax Avoidance

(asked on 2nd March 2020) - View Source

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the enhanced Check Employment Status Tool in relation to IR35.


Answered by
Jesse Norman Portrait
Jesse Norman
This question was answered on 10th March 2020

HMRC developed the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool to help organisations and individuals determine employment status for tax and decide whether the off-payroll working rules apply.

The CEST service was developed in conjunction with tax specialists, contractors and other stakeholders. It was rigorously tested against established case law and settled cases to ensure it provides accurate results in line with current binding judgments. In the vast majority of uses, CEST will determine whether the engagement is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. HMRC will stand by CEST’s results provided accurate and correct information is used, in accordance with HMRC’s guidance.

In November 2019, HMRC launched an enhanced version of CEST, having worked with over 300 stakeholders to identify improvements. The tool’s enhancements included making questions and the results clearer, increasing the number of questions to provide a more thorough assessment, and building in features to reduce user errors.

Since launch, HMRC have monitored customer feedback and have updated the tool’s language where this improves the customer experience. This includes providing additional help text and links to off-payroll guidance in HMRC’s Employment Status Manual. HMRC are continuing to monitor feedback with a view to making future usability updates.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Self-employed: Tax Avoidance

1. IR35 Tax Reforms
05/04/2019 - Parliamentary Research

Found: March 2019 IR35 Tax Reforms By Antony Seely Summary A Westminster Hall debate on IR35 Tax Reforms

2. Check employment status for tax
25/11/2019 - HM Revenue & Customs
- View source

Found: Check employment status for tax - GOV.UK

3. Summary - Investigation into the BBC's engagement with personal service companies
15/11/2018 - National Audit Office

Found: operated correctly, PSCs can pose a risk to the Exchequer. In the late 1990s, the government was concerned

4. 1st Report - Off-payroll working: treating people fairly
27/04/2020 - Inquiry: Draft Finance Bill 2019 - Finance Bill Sub-Committee
- View source

Found: Bill proposals 7Changing patterns of employment 7The history of IR35, 1999Œ2015 8The Taylor Review of

5. Notices of Amendments as at 26 June 2020
29/06/2020 - Bill Documents

Found: well as to modify the effect of the Schedule in relation to particular schemes. continued

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Self-employed: Tax Avoidance

1. IR35 Tax Reforms
04/04/2019 - Westminster Hall

1: beg to move,That this House has considered IR35 tax reforms.It is a pleasure to serve under - Speech Link

2. Finance Bill (Ninth sitting)
18/06/2020 - Public Bill Committees

1: slough of despond. I venture to say that we have made it over the hill of difficulty, but perhaps not - Speech Link
2: mildly, that fewer than one in 20 people who have made claims under the Windrush compensation scheme have - Speech Link
3: make it easier in the future for payments…to be made tax-free, without the need for fresh legislation - Speech Link

3. Finance Bill (Ways and Means)
19/05/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: provision taking effect in a future year may be made amending Chapters 8 and 10 of Part 2 of the Income - Speech Link
2: provision taking effect in a future year may be made amending Chapters 8 and 10 of Part 2 of the Income - Speech Link
3: change to our tax system, reforming compliance on IR35 rules for the private sector, but for many people - Speech Link

4. Oral Answers to Questions
21/05/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: an accelerated payment notice back in 2015, in relation to a loan charge scheme? He paid the amount that - Speech Link
2: charge and now, too, I fear with the roll-out of IR35 to the private sector. Will the Minister commit - Speech Link
3: but it is a completely unrelated matter. IR35 is about making sure that those who are effectively employed - Speech Link

5. Finance Bill
01/07/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: insert—“(2) Any review made under (1) must include an assessment of the effect of the DST on tax - Speech Link
2: mouse of a measure compared with the huge profits made by American big tech? Does she also agree with me - Speech Link
3: urge the Minister to listen to the arguments being made and take urgent action to address them.The - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Self-employed: Tax Avoidance
1. Department for International Development: Cost Effectiveness
asked by: Preet Kaur Gill
03/09/2019
... if he will publish an impact assessment of the efficiency savings made by his Department since 2015.

2. Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: Self-assessment
asked by: Kirsten Oswald
15/03/2021
... what notice his Department provided to people already in receipt of a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant that they would be required to submit their tax return for the 2019-20 financial year by 2 March 2021 to be eligible to apply for the fourth round of grants under that scheme.

3. Self-employment Income Support Scheme: Self-assessment
asked by: Kirsten Oswald
18/03/2021
... how many and what proportion of people already in receipt of a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme grant received prior notice that failure to submit a tax return for the tax year 2019-20 by (a) 2 March 2021 or (b) any other date would result in them being ineligible for the fourth and fifth grants.

4. Employment and Support Allowance: Work Capability Assessment
asked by: Sharon Hodgson
04/03/2021
... if she will make an estimate of the number of claimants who have had their contributory based employment and support allowance payments stopped as a result of the (a) temporary suspension of face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits and (b) inability to be placed in a support group as a result of suspended face-to-face assessments.

5. Employment and Support Allowance: Work Capability Assessment
asked by: Sharon Hodgson
12/02/2021
... how many claimants have had their employment and support allowance payments stopped because of the temporary suspension of face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits.

Latest Questions