Provision of Equipment
Provision of Equipment is one of the factors taken into account when it is being decided if a contractor is operating under a contract of service, as an employee would, or a contract for services as a self-employed freelancer would.
The contractor, basically, should supply and use as much of his or her own equipment as he or she can. The more you differentiate your way of working from the employees of the company the better as far as taking yourself outside of IR35 is concerned.
So, here are some areas where you should supply your own equipment:-
1. Your PC – Use your own if you can. Sometimes the client will insist you use one of their own PCs for the purposes of security or more easy communication. If they do, ask them to make a formal request for you to use their PC with the reasons why. They would not have to do this with a permanent employee.
2. Your phone – use your own mobile phone rather than the company phone to communicate both internally and externally
3. Your email address – use your own email address rather than one allocated to you by the company
4. Your stationery – buy your own notebooks, pencils, pens etc. They don’t cost much and they differentiate you from employees who would get all their stuff from the stationery cupboard
5. Your office – do as much of your work from home as you can using your own equipment rather than that of the client
Provision of equipment is not an overriding factor towards IR35 and you could still be outside IR35 even if you used all of the company’s equipment. However, it is all about differentiating your working practices from those of an employee of the company. The more you do that the more you are likely to be outside IR35.