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I'm using a client-provided laptop to carry out work on a day-to-day basis. However, another contractor is using a personal one for IR35 reasons (ie, using his own demonstrates that he's not an employee). He's also refused a work phone to keep his business and the client separated.

We deal with a lot of sensitive and personal financial information so I figured it'd be best to use the client laptop for security reasons.

So, am I okay to use a client-provided laptop and work phone or does it contradict IR35? I've searched online for an answer but can't find a solid 'yes' or 'no'.

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(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor am I innately familiar with IR35 and UK contract law)

Kate Cottrell had this to say on the matter:

...providing your own kit is a pointer away from IR35 but if you are unable to make such a provision then it becomes a neutral point.

Lesley Furber also mentions in an article:

Freelancers and Contractors often find that they are required to use the client’s equipment, possibly for safety and security reasons. This is generally not an issue that would make a contract fail IR35 if there is a sound business reason for it.

Based on these, I'd say that your use of client-provided equipment (laptop, phone), while not ideal, is still fine, given the fact that there is a great deal of sensitive information in play.

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