The Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool can be used to help ascertain if a worker should be classified as employed or self-employed for tax purposes in both the private and public sector.
The service provides HMRC’s view if IR35 legislation applies to a particular engagement and whether a worker should pay tax through PAYE. The service also helps determine if the off-payroll working in the public sector rules apply to a public sector engagement.
The software can be used to check the employment status of:
- a worker providing services,
- a person or organisation hiring a worker; or
- an agency placing a worker.
HMRC has said that it will stand by the result given unless a compliance check finds the information provided was not accurate. HMRC will not stand by the results of contrived arrangements and those designed to get a particular outcome from the service. HMRC are clear that this would be treated as evidence of deliberate non-compliance and could result in higher penalties.
The service is anonymous, and the results are not stored online. However, the results can be printed and held for your own records. If any changes take place to the workers role their status should be reassessed.