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What is IR35 Investigation Insurance?

Roots is steeped in IR35 experience, having been involved in and around it since the mid 2000’s. We’ve used this expertise to bring to market our IR35 Investigation Insurance, which has been specially designed for contractors to provide them with professional representation for the defence of IR35 status investigations. Not only that, but it also covers HMRC enquiries into your tax, VAT, PAYE, NIC, Social Security and Construction Industry legislation and regulations.

It is uncommon for end clients and/or recruitment agencies to insist that a contractor holds IR35 Insurance before they are allowed to commence an engagement, but many contractors decide that being uninsured against HMRC looking into their affairs is too big a risk for their business to take, and ensure they have cover in place.

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Why choose a Roots IR35 Investigation Insurance policy?

Our IR35 Investigation Insurance is one of the best, if not the best on the market for the professions we cover and the prices we charge.The cost of the policy is just £50.00 (inclusive of Insurance Premium Tax) for £50,000 of cover per claim, and £1m in total for the policy period.

Every contractor is at risk of an HMRC investigation, be it a random selection, thematic review, or from something that triggers HMRC to look into your tax affairs. In the event of a claim you get expert professional representation to defend the claim against HMRC, giving you the best possible chance of being successful.

Our policies are underwritten by one of the largest insurers in the world and we have claims handled by top UK firms, meaning our IR35 Investigation Insurance offering is as good as they come.  

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IR35 Investigation Insurance Policy Benefits

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IR35 is What We Do

We’ve been involved in IR35 since the mid 2000’s at some of the markets biggest companies – personally handling hundreds of IR35 enquiries and reviewing thousands of contracts from and IR35 perspective.  So when it comes to IR35, you know you are in safe hands with Roots.

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Expert Representation

In the event of a claim you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be represented by IR35 experts, not a generic tax firm. We use experts in IR35 who are highly experienced in dealing with HMRC and the tactics they use – giving you the best chance possible of being successful.

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Tailored for Contractors

All of our insurances and IR35 status reviews are designed to the exact needs of contractors, they’re not generic off-the-shelf policies. We back it up with highly experienced staff who are able to answer any queries may have, all from our Loughborough office in the heart of the Midlands.

IR35 Investigation Insurance Policy Features

IR35 Status Enquiry Cover

Many insurance policies that cover HMRC enquiries and investigations exclude IR35 status enquiries. Our policy not only includes coverage for any IR35 status enquiry or investigation but is based around it.

Tax, VAT, PAYE Investigations

Our IR35 Investigation Insurance doesn’t just cover IR35 status enquiries, but as standard also covers HMRC enquiries into your tax, VAT, PAYE, NIC, Social Security and Construction Industry legislation and regulations.

Tribunal & Appeal Cover Included

Many HMRC enquiries and investigations often conclude in a routine manner, but some cases require representation at an appeal or tribunal. We won’t leave you hanging – we support you through to the end by covering these.

Frequently Asked IR35 Insurance Questions


Who needs IR35 insurance? 

Following the recent legislative changes contractors are still responsible for assessing their IR35 status where the engagement is with a ‘small company’. A small company is defined as a company with any 2 of the following 3 characteristics; Less than £10.2m turnover, less than 50 employees or a balance sheet of less than £5.1m.

Given the policy also includes cover for HMRC tax, VAT, NIC and PAYE enquiries and investigations, should I take it out?

Definitely. IR35 status enquiries are only one part of what is a larger insurance policy. The cover extends to cover almost all HMRC enquiries that cannot be foreseen – including partial and full tax investigations, VAT, NIC, PAYE and Construction Industry enquiries. The policy also provides protection should a HMRC dispute require an appeal or tribunal hearing.

I no longer contract, do I need IR35 cover?

Yes. HMRC can investigate you and go back up to four years without reason, and up to six for careless errors. Therefore just because you have ceased working as a contractor does not mean that there is no risk as HMRC will await tax returns to be submitted in due course, analyse them and then open an investigation if they deem fit. This means it can be a couple of years post finishing contracting that a very real risk remains, and is the period that continuous IR35 cover should be held for.

I don’t work for a small company or assess my own IR35 status

Under the new legislation where a contractor works for a medium or large sized end client they will be responsible for determining the IR35 status of the engagement. In this situation there is no requirement for IR35 cover in the form Roots offers. However, as per the reasons and risks as outlined in the ‘I no longer contract, do I need insurance?’ question we recommend you hold IR35 cover if you have determined your own IR35 status at any point in the past couple of years.

I work under an umbrella firm, do I need IR35 cover?

If you have always worked under an umbrella firm then no you do not need insurance. However, if you have spent time working as a contractor outside of IR35 in the past couple of years at any point then yes you should hold cover – for the very same reasons and risks as outlined in the ‘I no longer contract, do I need IR35 cover?’ question.

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IR35 Contract Reviews

IR35 Contract Review - Standard

An Inside/Outside IR35 opinion based on the key IR35 status test related clauses along with recommended changes in relation to those that are classed as failing clauses, along with a list of all contractually required business insurances.

IR35 Contract Review - Premium

An Inside/Outside IR35 opinion, full feedback on all IR35 related clauses and if they are positive, negative or neutral in helping your IR35 status, plus a complete list of recommended changes in relation to all failing clauses.

IR35 Working Practices Review

We let you know our opinion on your working practices and if they fall inside or outside of IR35 having considered the key status tests, and provide you with a comprehensive overview of how and why we’ve come to our decision.

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