Monday, 2 August 2021

Former BBC presenter loses legal battle over tax bill

HM

LONDON: A former BBC presenter is facing a tax bill that could reach more than £400,000 after losing a dispute with HM Revenue & Customs, a tribunal ruled.

Christa Ackroyd, who presented BBC Look North for more than a decade, was in a legal battle with HMRC who claim she owes £419,151 in unpaid tax between 2008 and 2013.

Ms Ackroyd, who contends the sum stands at approximately £207,000, was employed under two fixed term contracts between the BBC and her personal service company, Christa Ackroyd Media Ltd (CAM).

HMRC considered her an employee of CAM and that therefore the company was liable to pay income tax and national insurance, while Ms Ackroyd argued she was a self-employed contractor.

The tribunal said Ms Ackroyd’s was one of a “number of other appeals involving television presenters and personal service companies”.

It stressed that HMRC had “never suggested” Ms Ackroyd was a tax cheat or had acted “in any way dishonestly”.

In its ruling for HMRC, which the tribunal acknowledged was a “value judgment”, it said: “We do not criticise Ms Ackroyd for not realising that the IR35 legislation was engaged.

“She took professional advice in relation to the contractual arrangements with the BBC and she was encouraged by the BBC to contract through a personal service company.”

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