Right to reside - Work as a Big Issue vendor

Friday 29 July 2016

In Revenue and Customs v IT (CTC) [2016] UKUT 252 (AAC) (Judge Wright), 24 May 2016, the Upper Tribunal considered a claim made by a Romanian national for working and child tax credit in May 2009 on the basis that the claimant was engaged in self-employed work as a Big Issue vendor.

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In Revenue and Customs v IT (CTC) [2016] UKUT 252 (AAC) (Judge Wright) 24 May 2016, the Upper Tribunal considered a claim made by a Romanian national for working and child tax credit in May 2009 on the basis that the claimant was engaged in self-employed work as a Big Issue vendor.

An award was made but it was subsequently selected for ‘a check’ by HMRC in July 2010, when a decision was made that the claimant did not have a right to reside in the UK because his self-employed work as a  ‘Big Issue’ seller was not “genuine and effective” and therefore did not give him ‘worker’ status under EU law.

The Upper Tribunal dismissed the appeal. The Judge upheld that the claimant could not establish a right to reside on the basis of being a self-employed person.  This decision was made on the basis of evidence that the claimant’s net profit amounted to only £2.36 per hour, and was uncorroborated for some of the relevant period. This was his sole work at the time, to support himself, his wife and their seven children.

For more information, the full judgment is available.

Comment: This case can be contrasted with the decision in Bristol City Council v FV (HB) [2011] UKUT 494 (AAC), where the Upper Tribunal upheld a decision that a Big Issue vendor’s self-employed work was ‘genuine and effective’.

These two cases illustrate how decisions on what will count as ‘genuine and effective’ work can turn on the facts.

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