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Does IR35 apply to sole traders?

Q. I have been a sole trader subbie (electricians mate) working solely for the same company for over 3 years, the company (only 5 in number including 2 directors) has now suggested that the 3 subbies go limited to avoid being caught out by IR35, It is my argument that to do this would not help as we (the subbie) would be working outside the revenues rules on limited company and would still be open to prosecution. Can you enlighten me?

A. IR35 does not apply to sole traders and instead there are ‘status’ rules. The company you provide services to would be liable for any liability concerning your employment status if HMRC were to challenge your status (as a sole trader) and argue that you are a disguised employee.
If you were to set up a limited company IR35 would be applicable and any liability for employment status would fall to your limited company. Setting up a limited company could therefore mean that the IR35 legislation is applicable to your business and that the company you provide services to would no longer have any liability for your employment status.

This answer was provided by Kate Hardy of Qdos Contractor

By Contractor Weekly


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