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BBC presenters set to face major IR35 battle

BBC presenters set to face major IR35 battle

One of the highest profile IR35 cases in recent time has emerged following the news that HMRC is to initiate proceedings against more than 100 presenters at the BBC.

First revealed by ContractorCalculator, more than 100 presenters at the corporation used personal service companies before joining the BBC payroll. They could face huge back taxes if found to be inside IR35 by HMRC.

The investigations could have a major impact on the broadcasting industry, with any appeal set to test how the freelance model works in the sector when it comes to IR35 legislation.

The recent revelations are a further indication on HMRC’s ongoing clampdown on workers who are falling foul of IR35 rules, but the set of BBC presenters are by far and away the highest profile names to be put in the spotlight to date.

It has also been hinted at that HMRC’s clampdown in the broadcasting industry won’t be limited to the BBC, with other broadcasting organisations and their employee relationships likely to be placed under the microscope by HMRC in coming months.

Speaking to ContractorCalculator, a spokesperson for the BBC said: “As the judgement says this is an industry wide issue and affects those who have been engaged in this way for a number of different organisations. The exact number of cases that will be taken forward will be determined by HMRC. This particular tribunal relates to tax issues between 2006 and early 2013 and not the present day. It is up to individuals to ensure they pay the right tax, and since 2013, the BBC has adopted a new employment status test that provides a clear and consistent approach to the employment status of journalists and presenters.”