This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: status: role of the caseworker

During the course of a compliance check the status of a worker or a group of workers may be doubtful and must be investigated.

You will:

  • identify where status is in doubt
  • remain the case owner and principal point of contact for the engager, worker(s) and agent
  • establish the facts of the engagement by conducting meetings with an appropriate person representing the engager who has knowledge of the terms and conditions of the engagement
  • establish why the engager thought the worker(s) could be treated as self-employed (COG907640)
  • establish or corroborate the facts of the engagement by conducting meetings with the worker or a sample of the workers
  • tailor questions asked to the circumstances of the particular case and ask relevant follow up questions
  • not be drawn on giving an opinion of the worker’s status to the engager, worker or their representatives
  • use the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool to provide an opinion
  • issue notes of meetings without delay (COG905295)
  • resolve any conflicts in the information provided by the engager and worker(s)
  • where CEST has produced an opinion, issue a clear opinion letter based on ESM0109 / ESM0110 together with the list of questions and answers generated by CEST
  • where an opinion has not been provided by the CEST, form an opinion and draft a detailed opinion letter (ESM0109 / ESM0110) for consideration by

    • Employment Status & Intermediaries (ES&I)
    • the Status Inspector (LBS)
  • issue a computation of liability and seek retrospective recovery
  • in order to resolve the more complex or contentious cases, seek technical support from

    • ES&I
    • the Status Inspector (LBS).