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Gary Lineker faces £4.9m IR35 tax case
by Susie Hughes at 10:14 07/05/21 (News on IR35)
Match of the Day host, Gary Lineker, has become the latest television celebrity to be pursued by HMRC in a First Tier Tax Tribunal carrying a potential £4.9m in tax liability.
HMRC have taken the view that Lineker should have been operating ‘inside IR35’ on contracts held at the BBC (2013 - 2017) and at BT Sport (2015 - 2018). He is appealing.

There have been a series of high-profile cases involving television and radio presented who operate through their own limited companies, where HMRC believes they fall inside IR35 as disguised employees.

Previous IR35 cases involving a range of BBC and ITV celebrity presenters including Eamonn Holmes, Paul Hawksbee, Kaye Adams, Helen Fospero, Christa Ackroyd, Joanna Gosling, David Eades and Tim Willcox have had mixed results and have added to the confusion surrounding the 'disguised remuneration' legislation.

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Seb Maley from contractor tax specialists Qdos said: “This is the most high profile case in the history of the IR35 legislation. It might also carry the most tax liability - a staggering £4.9m. But it’s not the first time HMRC have pursued a well known TV presenter, and I doubt it will be the last.

“The irony is that Gary Lineker may have been told by the BBC to work through a limited company. It might not have been his choice, as was the case with several other BBC freelancers who HMRC have targeted in recent years.

“HMRC’s understanding of the IR35 rules and their track record in tribunals leaves a lot to be desired. So I wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s found that Lineker is genuinely self-employed and HMRC have got things wrong yet again.

“This case also highlights the potential risks of non compliance - not just to freelancers and contractors, but also to businesses that engage them. It’s vital that well informed IR35 status decisions are made from the outset.”

Further IR35 information
For more information about all aspects of IR35, including other celebrity presenter cases and the controversial IR35 reforms see Shout99's News on IR35 section.


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