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Employment status and onshore intermediaries

The proposed measures intended to counter false self-employment look set to be the latest in a long list of botched attempts to tackle an issue which the draftsman seems not to have understood.

The possession by a worker of self-employed status generally gives – in fiscal terms at least – a number of advantages both to him and to his ‘engager’ (to use a neutral expression). The engager has no obligation to pay employer’s national insurance contributions. And the worker himself pays a marginally lower rate of NIC enjoys a cashflow advantage in consequence of not suffering the deduction of tax and NIC at source and also enjoys a moderately more generous regime for the deductibility of expenses (when compared with his employed equivalent).

The fiscally privileged status afforded to self-employment – and the...

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