Do you know about the ‘duck test’ – written freelance contracts and IR35

Contracts and IR35

Most business owners have only a hazy idea of IR35. Some think it is only about people in the building trade. But it applies to all types of contractors.

Having a proper written contract is a great way to protect your business when it comes to HMRC and IR35. If you manage your contractor in accordance with the contract (and the contract sets out an arrangement that would not be subject to IR35) then you, and your accountant (when you have spoken to them) can rest easy. At least for a while. The courts are not entitled to go behind the contract except in very limited circumstances.

They are:

  • When the contract isn’t adequate to set out all the arrangements
  • One or more written terms have been varied by agreement
  • One or more written terms are a ‘sham’

Our emphasis on creating contracts that reflect REAL agreement helps you make sure your contract is not a sham and we take real care to set out all the appropriate arrangements that should be in your standard freelance agreement.


Beware of the ‘duck test’


HMRC and IR35

If you like your ‘duck test’ set out in legal and technical terms here is the link to the relevant part of HMRC’s guidance.   


Check out our contracts and agreements

We have some great agreements designed for the freelancers you pay. All designed for the way you work today – from tax to data security!

Have a look. You can find them here.

We’d love you to check out our REAL agreements for freelancers who invoice you from their company. Your accountant would love it too.


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