Kaye Adams has won her long-running IR35 case, after the Upper Tier Tribunal upheld a previous ruling that deemed her engagements outside the clutches of IR35.
The Loose Women host was facing an estimated £124,000 tax bill for contracts held with the BBC between 2015 and 2017, with HMRC arguing that Adams, who presented ‘The Kaye Adams Programme’ radio show, was not a freelancer and should have been operating inside IR35.
Adams provided her services to the BBC through her company, Atholl House Productions Limited. Her services were not exclusive to the broadcaster – she also appears on Press Preview on Sky News, writes regular columns for numerous newspapers and magazines and is a well-known face of the television show, Loose Women.
While it was agreed that Ms Adams provided a personal service, an element of Mutuality of Obligation (MoO) existed and the BBC ultimately held editorial control over the provision of services, the Judges in the latest ruling agreed with the original decision made in the First Tier Tribunal in 2019.
They stated that when Adams entered into her contracts, she “would have been entering into business on her own account”. Much of this was due to the fact that she worked on numerous projects simultaneously.
Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at the self-employment trade association, IPSE, said: “This case once again demonstrates the complexity of the IR35 rules and the difficulty that end-clients will face when the responsibility for making status determinations passes to them this April.
“The Upper Tier Tribunal upheld the First Tier Tribunal view that despite the three main status tests pointing to this being a contract of service – and therefore caught by IR35 – IR35 in fact did not apply because Kaye Adams was in business on her own account.
“The question now will be how end-clients will be able to make informed decisions. Only the contractor can know whether they are in business on their account, as only they have sufficient knowledge of their company’s business activities.”
With IR35 reform in the private sector set to be rolled out in a matter of weeks, Chamberlain is urgently calling for the changes to be delayed once more.
He added: “Government should […] carefully consider the implications of this judgement and work with us and other stakeholders to devise a more practical approach to compliance – one which would protect exchequer revenue without burdening business with rules that, evidently, even HMRC itself doesn’t understand.”
In response to the latest ruling, a HMRC spokesperson said: “HMRC is disappointed that the Upper Tribunal has decided that the intermediary rules, also known as IR35, do not apply in this case.
“HMRC will carefully consider the outcome of the tribunal before deciding whether or not to appeal.”