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Supervision, Direction and Control – guidance

HMRC have now published guidance on Supervision, Direction and Control (SDC) and have provided examples of how SDC will be interpreted in practice. Great stuff, I hear you say. We thought the same until we looked at the examples.

From one extreme to the other

We hoped that HMRC would be able to give us examples from the “real world”. Sadly, it seems that they’ve never been there:

Example one

Paul is an IT contractor and is interviewed by a client that would like a new website designing. He impresses them and they give him the job. They want him to design the site with no input from them. He can use any images, any text, any style and they don’t tell him what they want the site to do. The only thing they tell him is that they want the site completed and up and running in two weeks. In this case, HMRC say that SDC does not apply and given the circumstances we would agree.

Sounds familiar? Of course it doesn’t. This scenario is NEVER going to happen in the real world. In this case the client (which for the sake of argument makes elastic bands) could be presented with a website which is all about cake decorating!

Acting on orders

In the second example, Paul is told by the company’s IT manager what to do, when to do it and will be sitting with him giving him instructions throughout the whole of the design and development process.

Again, this is highly unlikely to happen in the real world and cannot really be used as an example of SDC in practice.

So what do we do?

Maybe the One Click Group should set up a travel agency. We will offer all inclusive holidays, exclusively for employees of HMRC, at extremely reasonable rates.

We will only fly to one destination – the Real World.

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