One hundred BBC presenters facing ‘tax dodge’ claims
Staff at the corporation could face demands for unpaid taxes if they are found to have been incorrectly listed as self-employed.
HMRC says it is looking at tax records of around 100 BBC staff
About 100 current and former BBC presenters are being investigated over claims they have not paid enough income tax and National Insurance contributions, HMRC has revealed.
HMRC is examining the records of freelance staff at the corporation who used controversial personal service companies to reduce bills.
Staff may face backdated tax bills if they are found to have incorrectly declared themselves as self-employed, rathFer than as employees.
The inquiries were revealed in a tax tribunal judgment involving newsreaders Tim Willcox and Joanna Gosling, who have appealed against a ruling by HMRC to pay extra tax and National Insurance contributions.
In a statement published on the BBC News website, the corporation said it was “up to individuals to ensure they pay the right tax”.
It read: “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.”
A HMRC spokeswoman said: “Employment status is never a matter of personal choice and is always dictated by the specific facts.
“When the employment relationship does not accurately reflect the underlying reality of the relationship, the wrong tax is paid then we intervene to ensure the rules apply as parliament intended.
“While there can be many legitimate business reasons for workers being employed through their own companies, there are rules in place enabling HMRC to make sure people who provide their services in this way pay the right tax and National Insurance.”