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Phil Winfield, PCG member and Director of Primary Path Ltd has proved once again that & lsquo;freelancing’ means business in tax terms, with victory in his IR35 tribunal.

Following almost eight years of uncertainty brought on by HMRC’s investigation, the first tier tax tribunal ruling was able to define Primary Path Ltd as in business of its own account. This is the third victory in recent months for PCG and Accountax in the battle against IR35 misapplication.

John Brazier, Managing Director of PCG, commented:

“We are still fighting IR35 on all fronts to defend our members. This means meeting HMRC both in the courts to defend individual cases and at policy level in the IR35 Forum to stop these misapplied cases happening in future. Frankly, clarity for Phil was long overdue, but we are delighted he can finally get on with developing his genuine freelance business.”

Interpreting the ruling a key factor appeared to be the presence of what could be described as a pay-as-you-go relationship.*  However it was an overview of all factors that led them to rule that there was a clear picture that the relationship between GSK and Mr Winfield is one of an independent and self-employed contractor and not that of employer and employee. 

Phil Winfield relied on tax investigation insurance provided as part of his membership to PCG, the UK’s leading association representing the business needs of freelancers. This enabled him to have ongoing support and recent representation in court by provider Accountax Consulting.

Phil Winfield, Director of Primary Path Ltd, commented:

"On top of the considerable emotional and financial strain of this experience there has also been the stigma hanging over me and my business for many years.  It has been a trying time and I would not have had a hope in continuing the defence without the support of PCG, Abbeytax and most recently Accountax.

I would have faced costs in excess of &pound50,000 due to the length of this investigation. In today's age of accountability, the amount of time HMRC took to argue their case means that the figure this has cost the taxpayer must be enormous, when compared with the amount they were fighting for."


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