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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Procedural aspects of status cases: SA enquiries and status reviews

Any challenge to the employment status of an individual may have an impact on their self-assessment (SA) return which may need to be resolved by a Section 9A enquiry into the return. You need to consider this whenever you have a meeting with a worker(s).

Where you carry out a meeting with a worker(s) purely in connection with an employer compliance review or a query about the worker’s status, then you must make it clear that the purpose of your questioning is not to enquire into any SA return which the worker may have made. You should explain that the purpose of your questioning is to ascertain the correct status or, in an employer compliance review, check whether the employer has correctly operated PAYE/paid NICs etc.

You should keep full and contemporaneous notes of your meeting with the worker(s), including a record that you made it clear that the purpose of the questioning was to ascertain the correct status and not to enquire into any SA return.

Remember that in an employer compliance review you should obtain the engager’s consent before speaking to workers, on site or on the company premises, during the course of the visit.

You do not need the engagers (or the engagers advisers) permission to hold meetings with workers in the workers own time e.g. at the workers own home. You should however make the worker aware that he/she is free to consult with their own professional advisor/accountant prior to any meeting with HMRC and make it clear to the worker that they can have an advisor/accountant attend the meeting if the worker wishes.