The Professional Contractors Group (PCG) is claiming a significant victory in its ongoing battle against the controversial IR35 tax.
One of its members has won his case against the Inland Revenue after the judge concluded that he should not be classed as an employee of Ford Motor Company for tax purposes.
Roger Tilbury from Bedford had worked at Ford for nine years and held a contract with Compuware, to which Ford had outsourced its application management centre.
But it was decided that this did not make Tilbury a "disguised employee" because, as Mr Stephen Oliver QC concluded, Ford did not have operational control over how the project was undertaken and Tilbury's consultancy company had had the "qualified right" to send a substitute, even though it had never exercised that right.
The judgment also found that it was not the direct manager from Ford's duty to tell Tilbury how to do the work, and that Tilbury had a different colour pass from the Ford employee pass, which did not entitle him to use of the gym.
Commenting on the judgment, 56-year-old Tilbury said: "I'm delighted to have won, and relieved that it's over. It has taken more than two very stressful years to get to this point, during which time I had to put all investment in my business on hold, for fear of tying up funds."
PCG external affairs director, Ian Durrant (pictured), told vnunet.com: "It's one step closer to making IR35 irrelevant to our members. It doesn't set a precedent in case law but it has helped us clarify what the Commissioner's view is.
"Increasingly our members are winning cases before they get to court. And legal experts will take this case to support their arguments when the Inland Revenue comes calling."
Adrian Marlowe, director of specialist advisor Lawspeed, said: "The best advice must still be that contractors take proper advice before entering into arrangements ensuring that they have strong commercial contract terms that accurately reflect the work.
"The stress of dealing with a Revenue investigation and a hearing before the Commissioners cannot be overestimated, and so it is best to avoid problems in the first place."
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