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IT contractor Roger Tilbury is celebrating today after winning his IR35 case against the taxman.

The Inland Revenue had tried to prove that Mr Tilbury, from Bedford, was actually an employee of Ford Motor Company.

But in his ruling yesterday Mr Stephen Oliver QC found that Mr Tilbury was not a Ford worker since he had a different colour pass to Ford employees, was not allowed to use the company's gym and was paid by the hour.

The ruling also found that although Mr Tilbury had worked as a contractor at Ford for nine years, anyone else could have been substituted to do the work if necessary.

In a statement Mr Tilbury said: "I'm delighted to have won, and relieved that it's over. It has taken more than two very stressful years to get to this point, during which time I had to put all investment in my business on hold, for fear of tying up funds."

He also expressed his gratitude to the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) for its help and support during the case.

Gerry McLaughlin of contractor outfit namesfacesplaces.com believes the ruling is important since it concentrated on the differences between Roger and an employee, and not the similarities.

"The Inland Revenue's argument that many contractors are disguised employees is becoming more untenable by the minute. If we have a guy who has worked
for the same company for nine years and he isn't caught by IR35, then who is?" said Mr McLaughlin.

IR35 proved unpopular even before it was formally introduced in April 2000. Under its rules, IR35 extends employee status, and hence more burdensome income tax requirements, to self-employed contractors. ®

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