Whilst in theory the contract should accurately reflect the working arrangements of any particular assignment in practice this is often not the case.
Typically generic contracts are used to ease administrative burdens on businesses and these contracts are usually designed to be IR35 neutral. As a result ensuring that the actual working arrangements in relation to every assignment are documented has become essential business practice.
Case history shows that HMRC are increasingly relying on a confirmation of the actual working relationship, sometimes known as the notional contract, that exists between the contractor and end client. This ignores any contract, or relationship, between the contractor and agency.
Where a contractor is unable to provide specific documented working arrangements HMRC are likely to approach end clients for this confirmation.
There is little point having a robustly structured contract if this is entirely in conflict with the true terms of the relationship. In some cases this can be more damaging.
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