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Employees vs contractors


The distinction between “employees” and “independent contractors”, as developed by the courts over several centuries, is an important concept in various areas of the law, and particularly in tax law. There is no overarching statutory definition of “employee” in either the ordinary law or in the tax law. Even so, the tax law does expand the scope of various taxing regimes to cover certain non-employee service arrangements, albeit not consistently. Further, all of these rules are expansive only, and they do not define the concept of employment; rather, they build on it. This means that the concept of employment remains an important starting point.

This article examines the leading cases in the area, the tests applicable to determining whether a particular arrangement is one of employer and employee or independent contractor, and surveys the rules that expand the scope of various taxing regimes beyond the employment relationship.

Author profile

Nicholas Gangemi CTA
Nick is a Barrister on Second Floor Selborne Chambers. He works in tax and commercial litigation, tax disputes and the provision of tax and legal advice. Nick’s areas of expertise include corporate tax, international tax, high net worth individuals, trust law, and mergers and acquisitions. - Current at 22 March 2017
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