What is a Qdos IR35 Check?

New role or just browsing? We explain what a Qdos IR35 check is and what it means for you as a contractor.

Qdos IR35 assessments under the off-payroll working rules

IR35 is a UK tax legislation that impacts all personal service companies (most commonly limited company contractors such as IT consultants). The legislation determines your employment status for tax (IR35 status) and in turn how much tax should be paid based on whether you’re providing services more like a business or more like a temporary employee.



Under the off-payroll working rules, a subsection of the IR35 legislation, any client business hiring a personal service company (with some exceptions) must assess the contractor’s IR35 status to determine the tax to be paid, and this tax must be paid directly to HMRC by the fee-payer.


This assessment is where a Qdos IR35 check comes in.


What is a Qdos IR35 check?

A Qdos IR35 check is an assessment of a contractor’s IR35 status (employment status for tax) on behalf of the hiring organisation (your client). You might also see it referenced as a “Qdos check”, “Qdos assessment”, “Qdos status review”, or simply just “Qdos” in job ads.


It’s a 40+ question assessment completed by you, the contractor, online via the Qdos Status Review platform. Your answers are then reviewed by one of our expert IR35 consultants based on 23+ years of experience handling IR35 enquiries and status assessments to provide an opinion of your IR35 status.

Your end client reviews your results and confirms their agreement, or alternatively disagrees and the consultant will liaise with both parties to finalise the decision, ultimately issuing a Status Determination Statement to each of you confirming the result.

Self-employed worker

Qdos IR35 checks:

  • Allow you to provide information about your business and include free-text fields for added context and clarification for an accurate result.
  • Are reviewed by an IR35 consultant. No AI or rigid checklists.
  • Ensure you get a Status Determination Statement confirming your status and the reasons behind it.
  • Provide you with added support and advice from our expert team via phone, email, live chat, and a dedicated support hub.
Who are Qdos?
IR35 is our specialist subject. We don't just talk about it, we live it. With over 23 years of experience handling over 1,600 enquiries and over 150,000 status determinations, Qdos provide one of the most trusted opinions on IR35.
We're the leading IR35 experts for good reason:
The UK's most trusted opinion on status
We’ve assessed 150,000+ contracts and working practices
Over 23 years of experience
Estimated £35million in tax saved on behalf of contractors
Excellence in compliance
We didn’t win the Queen’s Award for Innovation for nothing!

Qdos IR35 checks in job ads

Often you will see roles advertised as inside or outside IR35. This will be based on what we call a “role assessment”.


IR35 assessments are based on a range of factors concerning both the relationship with your client and how you operate as a business. A role assessment is an indicative view of your likely status based on some of these factors, such as whether the client would accept a substitute worker to fulfil the services or not. A role assessment doesn’t however look at factors related to how you operate as a business, such as whether you hold business insurance.


The role assessment is useful for contractors searching for a new role because it provides an indication of how much take-home pay (your fee after tax is deducted) you’re likely to earn, and so you can choose whether this role suits you or not before applying.


Once you’re hired (congrats!) we’ll carry out what we call an “individual assessment” which is the full assessment completed via Qdos Status Review, for an accurate IR35 status based on all factors.


Frequently Asked Questions

The off-payroll working rules were introduced in the public sector in April 2017 and the private sector in April 2021. Prior to these dates, contractors were responsible for assessing their own status and paying the appropriate tax to HMRC. After these dates, the responsibility shifted to the end client and fee-payer respectively. The rules require:

  1. The assessment of each off-payroll worker’s IR35 status, taking reasonable care in making decisions and managing compliance
  2. The provision of a Status Determination Statement to the next party in the chain and the worker
  3. A client-led disagreement process to handle disputes (we manage these via the Qdos Status Review service)
  4. The fee-payer to deduct the appropriate tax and NICs from the contractor’s fee and pay this to HMRC along with the relevant Employers NIC and Apprenticeship Levy.

Private sector clients who are classed as small don’t need to apply the rules. This doesn’t mean IR35 goes away, but that you will need to assess your own status and still ensure the correct tax is paid to HMRC.

More about the off-payroll rules

The Status Determination Statement is the written confirmation of a worker’s IR35 status. It must include the decision made and how this decision was reached.

The fee-payer is the party in the supply chain which directly pays your limited company your fee. This is often the end client themselves or a recruitment agency.

In some instances, you may be asked to pay a fee to complete the assessment, however often the client or agency will pay the assessment fee themselves. This is a commercial decision made by your client or agency, however for most contractors we speak to, they prefer to pay for a Qdos assessment than have their client rely on HMRC’s CEST! Please speak to your agency or client inviting you for assessment if at all unsure.

Have a question?

Ask away! One of our team will get back to you!

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Call our team on 0116 269 0999 or we can call you back at a time that suits you!