HMRC's Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool has undergone no formal testing or even informal assessment since its release two years ago, according to a response to a Freedom of Information request by website ContractorCalculator.

According to the website, the tool "is believed to have already forced thousands of public sector contractors into false employment, including hundreds within the BBC".

ContractorCalculator CEO, Dave Chaplin, said: “Given that HMRC has imposed CEST upon the public sector, cheating many honest taxpayers out of thousands in the process, it’s astonishing that it has still produced nothing to prove that the tool works, or to hold itself to account.”

According to tests by ContractorCalculator, the CEST tool returns a flawed assessment 42% of the time.

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