Bring in the IR35 experts to help protect your business during an HMRC investigation

HMRC compliance checks are slow, stressful and very costly. Let our team handle it, and use their expertise to guide you to a quick, stress-free resolution.

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Don't panic, we'll handle it

An HMRC compliance check is daunting, and if handled incorrectly can quickly escalate. Our expert team rely on real-world experience to handle every investigation the right way.

We aim to shut down your enquiry before it damages your business.

Trust the right team for your defence

An IR35 defence duo with proven experience successfully defending enquiries from inception to tax tribunal. The team’s forensic fact-finding methods have been developed from comprehensive technical input, analysis and know-how of the status domain, with the primary aim of seeking early closure.

Chris Leslie

Chris Leslie

Chris has three decades of experience, including many years at HMRC, where he managed teams of status inspectors, working with Brian Hall (Hall v Lorimer) and Graeme Young (Usetech v Young). A formidable defence adversary specialising in forensic analysis to build defendable positions referencing corroborated fact patterns.

Dave Chaplin

Dave Chaplin

Dave has been engrossed in IR35 technical matters for two decades. His focus is staying on the cutting edge of the case law. He regularly attends tax and employment tribunals to understand emerging arguments and latest interpretation on status matters.


There was a lot of pressure throughout the compliance check, like one wrong step and it could all go wrong. However, IR35 Shield briefed us on how things may develop, which enabled the business to prepare for potential events. It felt as if HMRC were fault-finding, not fact-finding, so being forewarned really helped us.

Marie Downes

Chief Talent Officer - Adaptive

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How we defend your business from an HMRC IR35 compliance check

In recent years dealing with IR35 and off-payroll enquiries has become highly specialised work. Success now depends on a comprehensive knowledge of the relevant statute and evolving case law, together with extensive experience of HMRC enquiry and tax tribunal work. With our success in tax tribunals against accomplished HMRC Counsel, you can be confident you've hired the right team.

Building a foundation

During the enquiry stage, the team work to help establish the facts and grounds of appeal, designed to maximise the chances of obtaining early closure of the enquiry.

A solid foundation is laid at this stage should the matter have to be brought into appeal proceedings.

Defending in tribunal

Leading up to tribunal, the team spend months intensively preparing and dealing with all detailed directions culminating in skeleton arguments.

During tribunal, our experience enables us to identify and convey to the court the substance of the dispute and why an appeal should be allowed.

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Get a definitive result every time with our IR35 status tools

We lead the way with technology, introducing the first IR35 status tool in 2009. Our technological innovations make its level of detail unparalleled, and you can trust our tool to accurately determine IR35 status each and every time. We ensure our tools are always up to date by attending all the tribunals and following the latest IR35 cases.

Chat with an expert about our IR35 status tools

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.

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Our recent successes

IR35 Case: RALC Consulting v HMRC

The team successfully defended IT Contractor Richard Alcock at First-tier Tribunal, which defeated two barristers representing HMRC Solicitor’s Office. Chris and Dave worked together for 18 months to build the case defence before defending during a four day hearing. They succeeded in countering HMRC’s IR35 Opinion and extended time assessments with the Judge upholding RALC’s appeals.

IR35 Shield Swiftly Closes HMRC IR35 Investigation

When a long-time client of IR35 Shield received notice of an IR35 investigation by HMRC, the company turned to IR35 Shield's compliance experts for representation. Within months, the investigation was closed with no tax bill.

Ongoing enquiries

Dave and Chris are currently managing a range of IR35 enquiries and also offer consulting for businesses to help ensure their procedures and processes achieve defendable positions in light of the new off-payroll working legislation.

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We know the details so you don't have to

We keep our finger on the pulse of IR35. You can trust our advice and guidance is always up to date.

Does IR35 apply to overseas contracts? Explaining the overseas exemptions

The off-payroll rules apply only to contracts where either the client is a UK tax resident or the work is carried out in the UK...

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As a small company, should you assess your contractors IR35 status?

The IR35 reforms that came into effect in April 2021 do not affect small companies. Nonetheless, some small companies...

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