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Taxman Wins Landmark IR35 Case Against BBC Presenters

The presenters say they were forced into PSCs ...

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HMRC has won a landmark IR35 case against three BBC presenters at the high court. This will have a significant impact on the broadcast TV industry ...

This is a landmark IR25 case for HMRC!

This is a landmark IR25 case for HMRC!

copyright: bowie15 / 123rf

The presenters have found out that between them, they owe over £900,000 in unpaid tax. This is from when they were working under contract for the BBC in London. It seems that although the three (among many more) did see themselves as self-employed, the High Court ruled that they had been pressured into contracting via Personal Service Companies (PSCs) by the broadcaster.

"Because they were told 'where, how and when' to work, HMRC saw the assumed relationship to be one of employment!"

This is a landmark result for HM Revenue & Customs. There are currently in excess of 100 presenters working at the BBC via PSCs and they will probably now be investigated under IR35 rules and have to pay back years worth of tax.

The presenters said they were "forced into setting up PSCs by the BBC" and that "the BBC knew there was a tax risk, but didn't make them aware of the possible liability".

HMRC has now published draft legislation to ensure checks are run before contractors start work to ensure their tax position. This means it will be the employer's responsibility to run the checks, rather than the contractor just saying they will pay their own tax and NI. The new rules are already in place for the public sector, but come into force for private organisations in April 2020.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to find out more about IR35 and how it may relate to your own contract, or are an employer who needs to clarify the tax position of your workers, do give me a call on 01908 774323 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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More about Helen Beaumont ...

Helen brings the personal tax planning experience of the top 20 tax companies to Essendon. Formerly of MacIntyre Hudson (with 45 offices nationwide), Helen worked at Chancery for more than 10 years before joining Essendon as the personal tax specialist.

Tax Planning can make a considerable difference to your tax liability. Helen has specialist knowledge and experience in tax planning and uses every opportunity to minimise your tax bill is utilised. By analysing your investments, income, profit and expenditures, Helen will provide strategic tax planning expertise that could offer significant savings, whilst delivering clear, honest advice and guidance.

When Helen is not at Essendon she spends time with her young son and likes going on long walks with the family dog.