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HMRC lose £124,000 IR35 case appeal against presenter 

BBC and ITV presenter wins IR35 case after tribunal dismisses HMRC’s appeal

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.

Judges rule Adams in ‘business on her own account’

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.”

A more ‘practical approach’ to IR35 compliance is needed

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.”

By Contractor Weekly


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7 thoughts on “HMRC lose £124,000 IR35 case appeal against presenter ”

  1. Gary Andrews

    Straight forward persecution of a high-profile target to make a propaganda point.
    Jesse Norman’s attack dogs will no doubt try to financially destroy Kaye Adams at the appeal courts yet again using taxpayer’s money and no jeopardy for his department.

    With an 80-seat majority and the media in their pocket the rogue Treasury ministers can do what they like. I don’t suppose any journos even reported the changes to The HMRC Charter (Nov 2020).

    Even a cursory skim confirms the shift to impunity, dropping such outdated taxpayer protections as: “We’ll treat you even-handedly” and “Respond in good time”.

    “Be professional and act with integrity” was changed to “We’ll always treat you in line with OUR values of respect, professionalism and integrity”, that says it all.
    HMRC’s values have become unscrupulous and dishonest. They need reigning in but Johnson’s corrupt government are leading by example.

  2. Geoff

    Good points. You could add “we will force you to maintain your accounting records the way we decide under MTD, despite the fact that we know less about what is appropriate for you or your business than you do.”

  3. George Jones

    It’s time the public knew if our MPs are on PAYE.

  4. HMRCowards

    The Gestapo finance wing are a particularly pernicious cult that need taken to task and brought to justice. The individuals involved in these government departments need ‘outed’ and their impunity removed through the courts so that they can be individually sued personally for all the hurt and dismay they cause.

    Time for them all to stop hiding behind these annoying little brown envelopes that drop through the letterbox and wipe the smugness of their faces through the courts.

  5. Phil Wade

    Good. And please let us know how much HMRC has wasted on the taking this case to court. So much time and effort for a negative return. Bigger fish to catch and fry: Amazon, Google, Facebook and a whole load of gamblers masquerading as executives in other businesses who regularly use the sharp pencil and rubber accounting practices.

  6. Mahendra Rathor

    Yes, I agree with Phil, what will HMRC gain for targeting contractors and freelancers, billions are lost in tax not targeting big sharks i.e. Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc there are 100’s of companies like them operate in same way but HMRC won’t touch them because they are to big for them but like to punish their own people in this country.

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