Consultants – Fee Protection Service

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Fee Protection Service

To be or not to be self-employed, that is the question!

At least it is the question HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is wrestling with, as it sets about targeting the ‘gig economy’ to determine whether people are genuinely in business.

The number of people who work for themselves in the UK has grown by more than half since 2000 but, at the same time, those new to self-employment are unlikely to run a business which employs staff. Instead they are to be found in the ‘gig economy’, working for short periods of time as independent contractors for larger organisations.

HMRC is setting up a new employment status unit to tackle what it considers to be false self-employment, particularly in the road haulage, coach, taxi and courier delivery sector. Uber, Deliveroo and Hermes have all had their business models openly challenged by a range of politicians, who are suspicious that employment rights are being denied to reduce tax payments.

TV presenters also find themselves under fresh scrutiny. It was recently revealed that about 100 BBC presenters are currently being investigated over whether they have paid too little tax working as freelancers rather than staff.

Against this heightened risk, our Fee Protection Service is designed to provide our clients with protection against the fees arising from professional representation during such an enquiry. If you are chosen for review, we will be able to:

  • Respond to HMRC on your behalf.
  • Deal with all correspondence.
  • Prepare and defend your case.
  • Negotiate the best possible outcome for you.

Our Fee Protection Service is the sensible step to take, as HMRC will usually ask for a meeting to test the working practices and request further evidence to support the explanations provided, all of which increases the cost of the enquiry. Please contact Sue Stephens, Tax Partner, if you are interested in learning more about this service and the support we provide to our clients.