Reply to post: Re: Wait? I'm a contractior now?

HMRC claims victory in another IR35 dispute to sting Nationwide contractor for nearly £75k in back taxes

bonkers

Re: Wait? I'm a contractior now?

I'm hoping that the judgement might be challenged by logic, on the basis that "could I just be a highly skilled employee" is a one-way function.

Consultants are human, employees are human, so any position could be filled with either a skilled employee, or a consultant, therefore all consultants are employees. To argue otherwise requires you to be superhuman.

Both sides are wanting a differentiator.

Genuine consultants don't want their honest status to be subverted by artificial avoidance, like the train drivers (no harm to them they were forced into it) - who woke up to find they were independent train driving consultants.

HMRC would find their life a lot easier if they could make a fair differentiation that everyone can accept. We all would - can we define terms that declare with certainty whether one should be taxed by method A or method B?

Germany puts emphasis on working for more than one client within any given year - even if it's only 5% (my supposition). Also not having a fixed desk, a client business card, and a few other distinguishing terms HMRC could look to adopt.

My differentiators would be "cross-pollination" and "short-lived expertise".

Cross-pollination is a critical concept to the "value", in GDP terms, of the consultant/contractor market. Given the relatively slow flow rates of permanent employees between companies, the adoption of "best practice" can be, is, impeded.

Consultants accelerate this process. In my line of work, the rigour of automotive design and production is greatly welcomed in the new medical fields, it's a carry-across of familiar know-how. It's not in any way a "stealing" of one company's IP into anothers.

Conversely, the medical "life and limb" safety requirements and methodologies feed well into automotive ASIL ratings - the approaches, methodologies, burdens of proof.

So, a prototype "cross pollination" metric might ask if you are engaged for your general problem-solving ability, as could be met by a highly skilled employee, or for your experience and know-how.

Note that know-how is the third leg of IP:

Copyright, Patent and Know-how.

Some companies [RR] choose not to patent what they have discovered because patents only last 15-17 years and rely on full disclosure.

Short-term expertise covers the ASIC design phase, most companies that benefit greatly from custom silicon ASIC design, need it only once. The experts involved move on, it is a lesser task to manage the various implementations of the working ASIC.

It is a very much harder task, and therefore more valuable, to make ASICs that work.

If that is your skill, a permanent employment will not exercise it to the full.

By a similar token, contracting allows all highly skilled individuals to focus on their best skills, it is an imperative that one should strive to employ one's finest skills to the greater benefit of commerce and society.

I don't think that booby-trapping the entire workspace with ad-hoc factors and weights, undefined till in court, is any way to proceed with regard to harnessing the innate talent of the British to invent and consolidate said invention.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020