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HMRC's 'CEST' Tool - IR35

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HMRC’s CEST (Check Employment Status for Tax) tool was created to assist contractors, hirers and the recruitment partner in determining whether the intermediaries’ legislation (IR35) applies to a particular engagement.

CEST was introduced alongside the roll-out of the off-payroll working in the Public Sector. Before considering using the CEST tool to determine whether IR35 applies to an engagement, here is what you can expect from using the tool or an alternative.

The tool starts by asking questions on the individual making the assessment and whom they are making the assessment for. Typically those involved in an engagement would be three parties: the worker, the end-client and the recruitment agency (although in some cases none of these could apply).

The CEST tool’s questions are in a yes/no answer format which cover the contractor’s working practices for a particular engagement.

Each question is determined by the answer given to the previous question. Once the answers have been processed by the CEST tool, you will be told whether or not the Intermediaries Legislation (IR35) applies to this particular engagement. In some cases – the tool will be unable to determine employment status at all.

You will be able to read and download a summary of your answers, and how HMRC has interpreted its understanding of IR35 as it relates to each employment status factor.

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Redline offer knowledge-led, tailor-made recruitment programmes to suit clients’ specific needs. We adopt a ‘partnership’ approach to ensure a detailed understanding of clients’ objectives and requirements. For more information regarding how we can help your business, please contact Peter Livingstone, Director of Contracts & Interim on 01582 878852 or email