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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Migrant workers: self employment claim - risks

The risks associated with self employment are the same for Migrant Workers as they are for all our customers. However as the Migrant Worker may not have been in the UK for long and they may not have a history on our HMRC systems it can be difficult to verify their self employment.

You will need to consider whether they are in fact engaged in remunerative work and if they do actually work the number of hours stated. If you are unsure of the credibility of their self employment you will need to ask additional questions and request further evidence to help you make a decision.

It may help you to establish a realistic working pattern. You can ask questions around the routine of their day

  • What time do you leave home to go to work?
  • How do you get to work?
  • Where do you do your work?
  • Do you work the same hours every week?

You will not be examining records and information supplied to form an opinion of the income the customer has reported, but to decide whether they support the claim that they are engaged in remunerative work. So you will be looking for patterns of behaviour appropriate to the self employment and indications of an organised, profit-seeking approach.

You may find it helpful to ask the customer additional question on their client base

  • Names and address of clients
  • How many clients do you have
  • How did you secure your current clients and how do you achieve new one (advertise/word of mouth)

Note: You can use the systems available to you to verify the existence of clients, however you must not approach clients direct to check the validity of the customers self employment without first obtaining written consent from the customer on the SEES form B&C3. See the guidance in CCM3025 and CCM3026 

Whilst we can approach the customers clients to confirm work done if we have the written permission from the customer, you must not look into the tax affairs or claims of these clients as this is a serious breach of the Data Protection Act.

If you need to verify the existence or authenticity of the clients you can use information that is already in the public domain such as Experian or Google Earth on the internet.

For further guidance and information on what you can request to support self employed claims see CCM6740 to CCM6800.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

For more information on genuine and effective employment and self employment refer to the relevant guidance.

Note: A self employed person does not have to be paying Class 2 NI Contributions (if applicable) to claim WTC; however you may want to question the customer further as to why they are not paying NI Contributions, as this may help you to build up a picture when assessing the validity of their self employment. For more information on NI Contributions refer to CCM20370.

If the customer is self employed and also claiming CTC please see CCM20360