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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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Dear Tax Advisors, I am a self employed sole trader. I have

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Dear Tax Advisors,
I am a self employed sole trader. I have a distribution agreement with a wholesale supplier. They supply stock on a sale or return basis which I sell to my customers and in
return I receive a commission. About a month ago one of their managers came to see me
and told me that they had decided to set a minimum weekly sales target and that my rate of customer activity would be closely monitored. This was later confirmed in writing.
I advised him that as I had self employed status with HMRC and that the contract was at "arms length" they were not permitted to set me any form of target and that their proposals were outside the terms of the contract. I have now received a letter stating that they intend to terminate my distribution agreement and that the business will cease
in 14 days.
Is it worthwhile my contacting HMRC about this matter? I feel that they are attempting to take operational control of a self employed distributor and create a disguised employee relationship.
Hello, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.

This matter is nothing to do with HMRC who would not intervene, nor indeed have they the powers so to do.

The company with which you trade have decided to set new parameters on the way in which business is to be conducted. Unless there is an agreement already in force to the contrary they are perfectly entitled to change their methods of trading. If they are breaching the terms of an existing contract then you should seek the advice of a local, trusted solicitor in the matter. There may well, however, be a get out clause contained in the contract and a competent legal adviser could give you an opinion relatively quickly.

I am sorry to have to imparts such negative views. There is obviously a hidden agenda in your supplier's activities. Maybe they don't want to deal with smaller distributors in the future, who knows?
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Thank you for your support.