IR35 risk advice IR35 risk advice - Page 2
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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCoffee View Post
    Thank you for the advice, it is appreciated.

    I don't have a SOW but each purchase order has the deliverables specified that I will work on. Mostly, these are projects that I have seen from beginning to end with only me working on them. In most cases these are projects that I have estimated so I usually get a PO to cover the number of months but rarely invoice all of it because I rarely work more than 18 days a month.

    I doubt I will get a written contract from my client. There is resistance from the MD who would rather keep things as they are. I think he is happy with me being a sub contractor but does not want to normalise it because he doesn't want other people in the organisation to think it is an option. They are a small company.

    If your advice is get a SOW for each of the PO's I have worked on then that would be a simple task.
    Looking at what you say then I think you are fine as you are. As long as there is evidence you are not just filling a permie job irrespective of how you are paid then you have your evidence.

    Try and avoid general terms like supply Project Management services which can sound like a job role. Have named deliverables that you can match against what you've done and you are golden.
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  2. #12

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    You don't need a SOW if you are on a PO basis. The PO is the SOW. You don't really need "a contract" -- the POs are the contract.

    I did it for different reasons. I didn't want the politics anymore, and to be honest I was just bored and wanted a challenge. I figured if I drove projects and design and farmed out the easy stuff, I could leverage my contacts and skills to create work for others, including my own kids. It's worked well for me. Doesn't sound like you want to do that, you just want to keep the money coming in but with low stress.

    I think you are golden for now re: IR35. But if you are really working at your own pace, and you have the contacts, why not pick up small jobs here and there from some of those contacts? I've been playing this game for nearly four years now. A few of my contacts are already stale. I've added some good ones in the meanwhile because I'm still active in the industry. If you aren't keeping your hand in, your contacts will change jobs, drift away, forget you, and three years from now when your current client decides he can find someone cheaper, you'll have a hard time.

    I'd be at least sending occasional "I can make myself available for projects" notes to different contacts. Doing that will also strengthen your case for IR35, that you are looking for other work, even if that other work never materialises.

    The risk is not current, in my view. The risk for you is future, maybe a few years down the road -- that you lose this client and may not have any others on the string, or that you only ever have this client which makes HMRC think you must be a disguised employee, so they will go searching for excuses to treat you as one. That risk doesn't seem high right now but it could grow over time. If you can pick up small projects here and there which can be done concurrently with your existing client's projects, or in breaks in between, it would diminish both future risks considerably.

    You don't say how old you are. If you were C-level I'm guessing you are in pretty good shape for your pension. If you don't need a lot of take home and you really get nervous about IR35, you could start dumping money heavily into your pension.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by WordIsBond View Post
    You don't need a SOW if you are on a PO basis. The PO is the SOW. You don't really need "a contract" -- the POs are the contract.

    I did it for different reasons. I didn't want the politics anymore, and to be honest I was just bored and wanted a challenge. I figured if I drove projects and design and farmed out the easy stuff, I could leverage my contacts and skills to create work for others, including my own kids. It's worked well for me. Doesn't sound like you want to do that, you just want to keep the money coming in but with low stress.

    I think you are golden for now re: IR35. But if you are really working at your own pace, and you have the contacts, why not pick up small jobs here and there from some of those contacts? I've been playing this game for nearly four years now. A few of my contacts are already stale. I've added some good ones in the meanwhile because I'm still active in the industry. If you aren't keeping your hand in, your contacts will change jobs, drift away, forget you, and three years from now when your current client decides he can find someone cheaper, you'll have a hard time.

    I'd be at least sending occasional "I can make myself available for projects" notes to different contacts. Doing that will also strengthen your case for IR35, that you are looking for other work, even if that other work never materialises.

    The risk is not current, in my view. The risk for you is future, maybe a few years down the road -- that you lose this client and may not have any others on the string, or that you only ever have this client which makes HMRC think you must be a disguised employee, so they will go searching for excuses to treat you as one. That risk doesn't seem high right now but it could grow over time. If you can pick up small projects here and there which can be done concurrently with your existing client's projects, or in breaks in between, it would diminish both future risks considerably.

    You don't say how old you are. If you were C-level I'm guessing you are in pretty good shape for your pension. If you don't need a lot of take home and you really get nervous about IR35, you could start dumping money heavily into your pension.
    Good advice thank you. I was a CTO at 44 - albeit not at a massive company but it was enough of a job to be too much when I got ill. I need to work for my bills but I put aside 6 months wages before I left the old job in case I didn't find work.

    Getting other jobs is a good call and like you say contacts go stale even if they stay on LinkedIn when they move company. I didn't farm them when I left because oddly I didn't want too much work!

  4. #14

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    Is it possible to a SoW in my situation?

    What if the industry you're in has had new regulations and most companies have a long list of systems (some big/complex, some small/simple and all requiring the same skillset) that they need to refine for it and so they hire lots of contractors.

    It's impossible to list at outset which system(s) an individual contractor is going to be working on, maybe because there are some systems they haven't finished speccing the changes for yet, or because they can't be sure how long it will take to develop individual systems.

    Q1) So how are you supposed to have a valid/meaningful SoW in this situation?


    Q2)
    Pretend you've been there for 6 months without a SoW and it's now at renewal time. If you're lucky enough to have been asked to develop one of the big/complex systems and accepted that task and you know it will take you virtually all the duration of the extension, then in my view it is now practical to write a SoW with that in it. But would a SoW now be void/useless because HMRC (or whoever) would just see it as a continuation of the first spell that didn't have one?

    Thanks

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by PTP View Post
    Is it possible to a SoW in my situation?

    What if the industry you're in has had new regulations and most companies have a long list of systems (some big/complex, some small/simple and all requiring the same skillset) that they need to refine for it and so they hire lots of contractors.

    It's impossible to list at outset which system(s) an individual contractor is going to be working on, maybe because there are some systems they haven't finished speccing the changes for yet, or because they can't be sure how long it will take to develop individual systems.

    Q1) So how are you supposed to have a valid/meaningful SoW in this situation?


    Q2)
    Pretend you've been there for 6 months without a SoW and it's now at renewal time. If you're lucky enough to have been asked to develop one of the big/complex systems and accepted that task and you know it will take you virtually all the duration of the extension, then in my view it is now practical to write a SoW with that in it. But would a SoW now be void/useless because HMRC (or whoever) would just see it as a continuation of the first spell that didn't have one?

    Thanks
    Well there must have been a task required to be completed for you to have been brought in so that would be a good start. It doesn't have to name individual projects or services. A bit like GDPR for example. You can be brought in to deliver change to bring the business up to GDPR compliancy. That has many unknowns from the outset but a fairly clear outcome.

    Extensions are just an accounting break really. The contract can be renewed under the same SoW as long as they were initially clear enough and again made it look like you are delivering a task (albeit long) and not just filling a job role.

    It doesn't have to be war and peace. Just enough to not look like a job role.
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