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CEST status tool

CEST (short for “Check Employment Status for Tax”), is a digital tool built by HMRC to help you figure out if your work falls inside or outside the scope of the new IR35 regulations.

You can access the CEST tool on this HMRC page.

CEST is anonymous, so you don’t need to fear HMRC storing your information.

What will happen when you use the CEST tool:

You’ll be asked things like:

  • do you provide services via a limited company or as a sole trader?
  • would your client accept a substitute?
  • does your client have control over your work (for example they can move you to a different location, decide how the work is done, etc.)?
  • what happens if the client is unhappy with your work?
  • how are you paid?
  • do you receive any “employee” benefits, like company car, laptop, etc.?

You’ll then receive HMRC’s view on whether your work should be considered a PAYE employment, and if your client should treat you as an employee (and pay Class 1 National Insurance rates, etc.).

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