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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Procedural aspects of status cases: binding nature of opinions in writing

People who ask for an opinion on status are entitled to an answer they can rely on.

You should, therefore, regard any previous opinion given in writing as binding except where it can be shown that:

  • the information provided was misleading and/or incorrect


  • the facts have changed materially since any previous opinion was given.

Where an earlier opinion was technically incorrect, we will normally be bound by it for the past. We would, however, seek to alter it for the future.

We are not bound on the status of an individual simply on the basis that they have, for example:

  • registered for VAT
  • made returns assuming self-employment
  • applied and been accepted to pay self-employed NICs, or
  • received a decision from an Employment Tribunal.