What are the main problems with CEST?
Some reasons CEST is widely considered as not fit for purpose are:
- Does not align with the current case law*
- HMRC never use CEST to determine status during enquiries
- The public sector were issued £263m+ tax bills, after using CEST
- CEST has no legal authority, is not in statute, and is not mandatory
- HMRC have been proven not to stand by it
CEST represents considerable financial risk to firms that are relying on it to protect them.Speak with an expert
CEST is now broken and presents a massive risk to the value of your business.
*The seminal decision of HMRC v Atholl House Productions Ltd  EWCA Civ 501 published by the Court of Appeal on 26 April 2022 set precedent for many of the now-binding legal principles to determine tax status. The judges rejected many HMRC submissions which proved beyond doubt that their longstanding "policy view" on status matters, upon which CEST was built, was fundamentally wrong.
Why CEST won’t work for you
Over 20% of results are “indeterminate” leaving firms unsure.
Misalignment with case law means even “Outside IR35” determinations are wholly unsafe.
HMRC's own defence counsel have already labelled CEST results as “irrelevant”.
Have you used HMRC's CEST tool?
Don't put your business at risk.
If you've used HMRC's CEST tool to determine an Outside IR35 status, flaws in the tool may put you at risk of not adhering to reasonable care. Use our simple checker tool to find out if you're affected.Check your CEST IR35 result free
Key evidence is critical
For definitive IR35 status decisions, tax tribunal judges make their conclusions using corroborated evidence. Regularly checking contractors’ status and gathering key evidence produces a robust, defendable determination which demonstrates due diligence in the event of an enquiry. See how IR35 Shield gathers key evidence throughout an engagement.
Why clients prefer IR35 Shield
The old IR35 methods no longer apply in the new world of off-payroll. It’s critical to:
- Adopt a pre-emptive tax defence strategy
- Have regular checks and gathering of evidence
- Rely on the current and emerging case law
- Have robust contracts & processes in place
IR35 Shield can provide everything you need using a mixture of technology and expertise garnered from the frontline of their tax tribunal work.Speak with an expert
|Features & Benefits||IR35 Shield||CEST|
|Always available online tool|
|Scaled for business use (multiple users)|
|Encompasses current case law|
|Returns no indeterminate results|
|Automatically rechecks status|
|Collects evidence during the engagement|
|Dedicated account manager|
|Access to legal expertise|
|Tribunal experience-led consultancy|
|SDS repository included|
|Flexible to suit your business|
|Allows Collaboration through the chain|
|Provides a detailed 25 page SDS|
|Gives independent, accurate results|