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David Harmer

David began his career with Markel Tax at 18 and has since spent 10 years with the business, completing a law degree and working his way through the ranks of tax consultant to director.

Defending tax payers against HMRC challenges on all areas of contentious tax law including IR35, self-employed status, CIS, agency legislation etc., his tribunal victories include the well-known Sherburn Aero Club case. This was significant in establishing clarity and focus, specifically in the key status areas of control and personal service.

David headed up the businesses’ umbrella and Managed Service Company (MSC) team, enabling clients to set up and run their own compliant umbrella company, navigate the raft of employment and tax laws and ultimately defend their position against an HMRC strike.

After leaving Markel Tax to start up his own umbrella company where he helped to establish a successful growing business, he re-joined the world of tax with a top 25 accountancy practice. Here, he was the firm’s status specialist where he argued many cases which revolved around employment law and not merely tax status.

David returned to Markel Tax in 2014 where he now heads up the tax consultancy division providing seminars, training and advice nationwide on all areas of technical and contentious issues.

Author Content

A technical consultation on the April 6th off-payroll set-off is underway, so contractors can have a say. But be quick.

Markel responds to claims ‘it’s not right to indicate indemnity clauses against OPW taxes aren’t enforceable.’

It’s the make-up of each brick in the taxman’s 60-strong ‘wall of shame’ that deserves your close scrutiny.

How to check your personal service bar is fine-tuned enough to be effective.

25th April, 2023 | IR35

Practical and contractual tips to stop Mutuality creeping in.

14th April, 2023 | IR35

What to do with an incorrect SDS, even if your client isn’t the flexible, listening kind.

21st February, 2023 | Private Sector IR35 Reform

Markel Tax shares its hopes for the year ahead, following 12 months of HMRC-related uncertainty for the contractor sector.

20th December, 2022 | Successful Contracting

Lengthy and complex it may be, but the MSC legislation is also clear and exacting. Contractors must be duly diligent.

2nd December, 2022 | MSC Main

'Victims' of the taxman’s MSC campaign must likely wait until 2023 for a court date.

A limited company boss ‘looking for fairness’ from judge Fairpo just got a £31,000 bill in reply. Plenty of other PSCs risk being disappointed too.

12th July, 2022 | MSC Main

‘Separate yourself from the herd’ – and other top tips for contractors daunted by HMRC gearing up to test the untested.

Don’t get caught offside by the taxman with generic contracts; key factors against you, and witnesses that fail to score for your side.

3rd May, 2022 | IR35

Even if the footy refs are winning on aggregate, the last fixture went the taxman’s way -- not that he can next play the same on MoO.

In-business factors saved the broadcaster, but only the unwise will rely on them to safeguard their own IR35 status.

25th February, 2021 | Private Sector IR35 Reform

Seeking out ‘small’ clients might not provide PSCs with the desired escape, as their ‘old friend’ of 2000 is hard to shake off.

25th November, 2020 | Private Sector IR35 Reform

‘It’s all about the irreducible minimum,’ the Revenue is likely to argue, in a bid to banish the ‘brand’ argument.

A defence about the sports presenter’s ‘brand’ could have produced a very different result.

With the SDS and SDP now demystified; let’s turn to who decides, who’s in the frame and how to get help.

10th August, 2020 | Private Sector IR35 Reform

How to navigate the client-led process when contractors don’t agree with the decision and want it changed.

4th August, 2020 | Private Sector IR35 Reform

What the document containing your IR35 status says, what it should look like, and when it should be sent.

3rd August, 2020 | Private Sector IR35 Reform

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