Contact is made with the end client
HMRC will want to talk to the end client should they find the evidence the contractor has provided to be insufficient.
It is certainly advisable for the contractor and the specialist to meet with the end client(s) to get them onside before this happens. This is essential, as a contractor’s defence may stand or fall on the client’s evidence.
HMRC’s contact with the end client usually starts via written correspondence. Unfortunately, it is often the case that this falls into the wrong hands such as human resources departments who may have little idea of the nature of the contractor’s relationship with the project manager, making a meeting all that more important to ensure the appropriate person deals with any such correspondence.
HMRC will often request to meet with the end client, who does have the right to refuse such a meeting but may be unaware that this is the case, so the typical reaction is to agree to a meeting.
The reason for the IR35 specialist and contractor to meet with the end client isn’t to tamper with evidence in any way, but to ensure that the client understands how to deal with questions and requests from HMRC.