IR35 Contract Review - Refresher


The importance of having your contract that has just been extended re-reviewed from an IR35 perspective cannot be underestimated. When HMRC decide to open an enquiry in to the IR35 status of a contractor, the contract(s) in question will be requested and reviewed, along with liaising with the end client(s) to ensure that the working practices mirror the written terms. Being able to evidence your status and provide this to HMRC with the necessary documentation, evidencing that you have taken proactive action to ensure you are outside of IR35 will greatly aid the defence of the case, which itself can a very stressful time.  Having a contract reviewed once is good, having it re-reviewed if your contract gets extended is great.  Over time bad habits can slip into your working practices and see you fall the wrong side of IR35, so we'll make sure you're advised as to what side of IR35 you are and what to look out for as a the contract continues.

Once the contract has been re-reviewed an opinion is provided as to if it is a pass or fail.  If the review provides a fail opinion, we will liaise with you to advise on the recommended amendments and additions to clauses within the contract and then re-asses it once implemented.

During a HMRC IR35 status enquiry, HMRC will check to ensure that you are in business on your own account and that you are not a disguised employee.  They will review your contract and liaise with the end client(s) to ensure that the working practices mirror what actually takes place and what would be allowed to take place, as well as requesting sight of various other pieces of supporting information.  Once this has been provided, HMRC will review it all and form an opinion as to if you are deemed to be a disguised employee or not i.e. inside or outside of IR35.

All contractors in business today need to be proactive and show that they have taken reasonable steps to understand IR35 and ascertain their status accordingly.  By taking out a contract review this demonstrates to HMRC exactly that, and is a key indicator in proving your IR35 status.

By using the vastly experienced in-house expertise of Larsen Howie you can ensure you put yourself in the best position to avoid being caught on the wrong side of IR35 by having your contract reviewed and specialist advice provided.

What's included?

Overall inside/outside opinion
In a nutshell we let you know our opinion on your contract and if it falls inside or outside of IR35, and if this has changed since we last reviewed your contract.  Bad habits and new contract terms can change our previous opinion, making a re-review of your contract essential.

Succinct list of essential changes
Our skilled team review your contract and provide feedback in the form of a list of essential changes having scrutinised the contract for all of the archetypal IR35 fail clauses, and advise you on the changes advised to be made to ensure you are outside of IR35.   

Agency & end client liaison
There are times when the agency or end client is being difficult to get hold of and/or deal with.  Our team of experts have the experience to negotiate on your behalf to ensure that your contract has the required new clauses added, or existing clauses amended so that your position and IR35 status strengthened. It is common for issues to arise around making changes to a contract and there being a reluctance for the agency or end client to agree to them, especially with the larger organisations who often have to go through a legal team to get the changes reviewed and agreed. We are used to dealing with this and use our vast knowledge and expertise to ensure it gets done as quickly and as hassle free as possible.  

Required insurances highlighted
We will provide a clear and complete list of the insurances your business is required to have in place prior to and during the contract.  Larsen Howie offer contractors the ability to quickly take out Professional Indemnity, Public and Employers Liability at competitive rates via our state of the art website.

Guidance on legislation for extended contracts
Extending a contract past its initial term can mean that legislation comes into play that can affect your IR35 status. We advise if this affects you, and how. 

What's not included?

Bespoke comments on each applicable clause
This element is not included in this service. This is included as standard within our IR35 Contract Review - Full Product.

Guidance on switching to contracting
This element is not included in this service. This is included as standard within our IR35 Contract Review - Full and Convert products.

Working practices review
This optional upgrade includes a review of your working practices and can be added on or purchased separately for an additional fee.

Confirmation of Arrangements document
This optional upgrade provides an editable Confirmation of Arrangements document template and can be added on or purchased separately for an additional fee. This is included as standard within our IR35 Contract Review - Full Product.

How do I send my contract/documents to you to review?

Copies of your contract and any other supporting documentation is uploaded online. This can be done by clicking here

How do I complete the Working Practices Review?

If you already receive, or choose to add the IR35 Working Practices Review to your order, you should complete and submit this to us online.  This can be done by clicking here. 

No contract at all?

And finally, for those contractors that think that by not having a written contract in place means they are exempt from being caught inside IR35 then they need to think again.  HMRC can, and will likely conclude a ‘hypothetical contract’ based on the working arrangements they deem are in place between the contractor and the end client, which will likely be found to be inside of IR35.