IR35 Guidance – See the FULL Picture

We’ve boiled down the HMRC Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) process into a simple one-page process flow.

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It can help you to reliably predict outcomes based upon the nature of the contractual obligations and working arrangements you embrace.


If your CEST responses cannot be disproven and you implement the 34square substitution process, your crucial Right of Substitution is unchallengeable.

  • We can walk clients and contractors through the detailed questions and relate them to the process flow.
  • You don't need to perform a HMRC Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) assessment to be compliant, but If there is a client or agent desire to do so, we provide to subscribed clients, agents or contractors upon request, a full worker and client guide for executing the CEST assessment in conjunction with our service, that explains the context and true meaning of questions where needed.
  • Sign up to the beneficial, compelling right of substitution capability 34square provides.
  • Contractors have a robust, executable right of substitution.

Don’t neglect the other IR35 status factors.

  • Whilst Right of Substitution is a major determining factor, it makes sense to avoid neglecting others.
  • This is not because a bullet-proof Right of Substitution doesn’t, in theory, take you outside IR35 on its own.
  • It’s because in practice, HMRC may still pursue an inquiry due to perceived weaknesses in other areas.
  • It makes sense to do everything you can to avoid the life and work disruption of even a dispute you’ll most likely win.

Other major IR35 status determination factors.

  • Mutuality of Obligation (see Tipping the Scales) is not expansively covered in CEST, but can be a pivotal factor.
  • Presence and degree of financial risk can be pivotal.
  • Degrees of control and autonomy over working arrangements, including hours of work, location and working methods used, can be pivotal