Own Tools & Equipment

Being required to supply and actually supplying your own equipment is a positive indicator of being in business.  It also demonstrates business costs and financial risk and is consequently a positive feature for IR35 purposes.  However connecting to a Hirer’s network with your own equipment has security risks and it is common practice to have to use the Hirer’s kit in these circumstances.

No doubt HM Revenue & Customs would take the view that using the Hirer’s equipment helps to demonstrate an employment relationship under the auspices of control.  Nonetheless, using the Hirer’s equipment becomes a neutral point for IR35 as it is a reasonable ‘control’ restriction, based on the Hirer’s concern for security generally. So, providing your own kit is a pointer away from IR35, but if you are unable to make such a provision then it becomes a neutral point.

A positive aspect arising from situations involving remote access is that it suggests that you can undertake the services from your own premises.  In turn this is a very good point when arguing against the issue of control.

Where practically possible you should use your own equipment rather than that of the client.  There will always be occasions where the client requires you to use their equipment, for Health & Safety or security reasons for example which is acceptable.  Whilst this factor alone will not result in an engagement passing, or failing, within IR35, it is one factor that will count towards or against the overall decision.

To avoid failing IR35 the contract and the actual working arrangements should be able to show that you use your own equipment.

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