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Off-payroll Working

Question for Treasury

UIN HL1571, tabled on 29 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that businesses understand how to use the online ‘Check Employment Status’ tool in regard to IR35 status.

Answered on

12 July 2021

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

CEST is a free service which was developed working closely with tax specialists, contractors and other stakeholders. It was tested rigorously against known case law and settled cases, and HMRC stand by its results if the tool is used in accordance with HMRC's guidance.

HMRC have published detailed guidance[1] on using the CEST tool and have recently launched a ‘webchat’[2] function which allows users to seek advice from HMRC as they are using the tool. This is in addition to the dedicated off-payroll working helpline, which offers customers a full run-through of the CEST tool and a CEST specific webinar run by HMRC.

HMRC are continuing to help businesses get determinations right. HMRC set up dedicated teams to provide education and support to all businesses, public bodies and charities affected by the off-payroll working reform. This includes topic-based webinars and workshops, as well as targeted one-to-one calls with affected businesses. This is further supported by updated off-payroll working guidance, online learning and attendance at stakeholder events.



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