Check employment status for tax (CEST)

Use the government CEST tool service to find out if you, or a worker on a specific engagement, should be classed as employed or self-employed for tax purposes.

This service will give you the view of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on whether:

  • the intermediaries legislation (known as IR35) applies to an engagement
  • the off-payroll working in the public sector rules apply to a public sector engagement
  • a worker should pay tax through PAYE for an engagement

This service can be used for current or future engagements in the private or public sector. You should reassess the status of the role if there are changes to the engagement or the way the work is done.

HMRC will stand by the result given unless a compliance check finds the information provided isn’t accurate.

HMRC won’t stand by results achieved through contrived arrangements designed to get a particular outcome from the service. This would be treated as evidence of deliberate non-compliance with associated higher penalties.

This service is anonymous and HMRC won’t store any information you enter or the result given. You’ll be able to print your result for your own records. This is especially important since you will need to give a copy to your supply chain (worker, recruitment agency etc). Agencies will also need it to share with 3rd party payroll providers.

Check employment status for tax.

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