With less than three months remaining before the IR35 off-payroll working rules begin to apply in the private sector, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched a revamped CEST IR35 off-payroll working tool.
The rule change means that engagers, rather than workers, will be responsible for determining whether an engagement falls within the IR35 rules.
If an engagement is found to fall within the rules, the engager will be responsible for applying the correct tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs).
CEST is the tool that, until now, workers have used to determine the applicability of the IR35 rules to an engagement and which will now be used by engagers.
CEST has attracted significant criticism in the two years that it has been available for failing to reflect accurately the nature of a contractor’s work – proving to be accurate in only 85 per cent of cases.
HMRC has now updated the tool with a number of additional questions.
HMRC told Accountancy Daily: “CEST was rigorously tested against case law and settled cases by officials and external experts.
“It is accurate and HMRC will stand by the results, provided the information input is accurate and it is used in accordance with our guidance.”