Employed or self-employed?

I am a contractor and I have just picked up a big contract with a large firm. However, I am a bit confused as to whether I am employed or self-employed. Can you clarify it for me please?  

1st May 2012

In order to establish your employment status, your employer may find it helpful to use the Employment Status Indicator (ESI), which is HMRC’s online interactive tool that asks a series of questions about the working relationship between the two parties. It is the quickest way of getting HMRC’s view on whether a worker is employed or self-employed.

The ESI tool can be accessed on their website here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/esi.htm.

HMRC will accept the tool's outcome as binding; as long as your employer has answered accurately to reflect the terms and conditions under which you provide your services. Your employer must also retain a printout of:

  • the ESI result screen
  • the Enquiry Details screen showing their replies to the questions asked

Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch with your local TaxAssist Accountant who will be able to discuss this with you further.

By Jo Nockels

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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