IR35 Shield vs CEST

How does IR35 Shield compare?

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IR35 Shield vs CEST

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.

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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 [2022] 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

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.

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Features & Benefits IR35 Shield CEST
Automated assessments
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
Customer support
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
over 150,000 assessments

Using our assessment technology

over 20 years

Over 20 years’ experience at the cutting-edge of IR35

since 2009

Built in 2009 and expertly refined to align with current IR35 case law