Contractors would rather go to an independent specialist or take a chance than submit their employment contracts to the Inland Revenue to check their employment status with regard to IR35, according to a survey.
The Revenue launched a contract review service in February 2000 to advise contractors who are still uncertain about their status.
The service invites contractors to send their contracts by post or email and promises to provide an opinion within 28 days.
But a survey conducted by contractor website Shout99.com found that only 10 per cent of contractors would consider asking the Revenue for an opinion regarding their contracts.
A third of contractors who took part in the poll argued that they would not submit their current contract to the Revenue or a specialist because they were already "certain that it was outside IR35".
Around 30 per cent have sought advice from an independent specialist, but 60 per cent stated that they would not submit their contract at all.
Of the 60 per cent who would wait and see, half maintained that they were confident of being outside IR35.
Kevin Miller, an IR35 expert at the Professional Contractors Group (PCG), warned that, although contractors were entitled to form their own opinion on their status, it must be an informed opinion and not based on ignorance or disregard of the regulations.
"PCG members have access to a great deal of advice and assistance from experts and other members to help them judge their own situation," he said.
"Contractors who are not members, or who do not take the time and effort to research the issues elsewhere, are at risk of either paying more tax than they need to or of incurring penalties if they have ignored the legislation."
The Revenue declined to comment on the survey findings.
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