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IR35 – Should the client be booking my flights?

Q. In terms of a contract if all other parts would be deemed to be classed as outside of IR35, but the company required occasional short notice travel abroad, and the company are suggesting that their own travel department would book and pay for those flights would that then put the contract inside of IR35?

A. Ideally independent contractors should be responsible for bearing the costs of any expenses; this would be indicative of self-employment. However it is a normal procedure to see contractors bearing the costs of such expenses (travel, accommodation etc.) and recharging these back to the client.

Whilst the client booking your flights through the clients own systems would not be enough to place you inside of IR35 in isolation, it would be advisable to seek clarity from the client as to why this needs to be done through their own systems. It can be that the client has access to cheaper flights and rates which is understandable although being required to follow the clients own booking procedures could imply an element of control over the contractor.

As stated this would not be enough of a conclusive factor in isolation to solely place a contractor inside of IR35 provided that the key IR35 status tests are met throughout your actual working arrangements; Substitution, control, Mutuality of obligation and being exposed to a financial risk.

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By Contractor Doctor

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