Q. I am working in a Public Sector organisation (NOT NHS) in Wales, via Hays IT, and HMRC have been doing some investigative digging for the last year since the CEST was used to review each contractors status.. I was informed on Friday that the Organisation has passed HMRC directly, the details of all PSC’s working at the organisation to get “our opinion” on our working status?! ….Firstly I’m at a loss as to why they don’t direct them to the Agencies who they engage for PSC’s like myself, (in my case Hays IT) and secondly, how this underhand request for details flies in the face of data protection and GDPR. Just because another government department is requesting the information, should they just pass it across willy nilly, or should some form of control be exercised in light of data protection law? This essentially allows HMRC to piece the details together with Director information held by companies house and pick whom it might investigate next from those working in the Public sector. This information and underhanding the way HMRC are working really needs to be brought to light.
A. Sch. 36 FA 2008 affords HMRC broad powers with very limited protection for taxpayers. Part of these powers allows HMRC to request information that is required to check another’s tax position.
It is the public sector body who actually makes the decision about a contractor’s employment status so it therefore follows that they are the organisation HMRC will seek to verify matters of status.
Agencies have to submit quarterly returns to HMRC of all those workers they place with end clients where they don’t operate PAYE. Thus, as information of all agency self-employed workers is readily available to HMRC, there is nothing underhanded about HMRC’s approach.
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