On 10 February 2018, the First-tier Tribunal12 held that a former BBC presenter was, for tax purposes, to be treated as an employee. This is the first in a large number of cases being taken by HMRC against TV presenters, relying on the application of the “IR35” tax rules.
Broadly, the IR35 tax legislation currently13 requires that, where an individual is engaged via an intermediary (eg their own personal service company), and the individual would be an “employee” of the end client if engaged directly, the intermediary must treat the fees received as employment income of the individual and account for tax and national insurance contributions accordingly.
Although the Ackroyd case is not a lead case, its outcome had been hotly anticipated and there is some degree of debate as to the Tribunal’s decision in the case.
It is clear from the decision that each case needs to be considered on its own facts but the Tribunal’s view as to whether the TV presenter was “controlled” by the BBC (it held that she was) will be of concern to many taxpayers who have provided their services under similar arrangements.
The decision can be viewed here.