Being a television star is mostly about glitz and glamour, but when you are hauled in the interview room at HMRC HQ, then not so much.
Regular readers will be aware of the BBC television star Christa Ackroyd, who recently had her life of glitz and glamour interrupted by a £419,151 tax bill that landed on her front door mat one morning.
I’m sure she didn’t enjoy writing out that cheque, but when the HMRC come knocking then you don’t fool around. Pay the damn thing.
As I accurately predicted, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the house of cards that is British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC for short.
In my prediction, I stated that many other BBC stars will probably be under investigation soon for avoiding things like IR35 and tax.
Only a court of law and a judge slamming down the hammer can decide guilt of course, and there are many potential scenarios that could happen if the HMRC do decide to look closer at the inner tax workings of the rich and famous.
Seeing this potential mishap in the future, many of the BBC stars are already preparing their acceptance speeches…although this isn’t the Oscars and it isn’t the Raspberries..and instead of writing out a list of people they want to thank, they are writing out a list of people they want to blame.
“Blame the BBC,” seems to be the general mood among some current television stars who could be looked more closely at by HMRC in the future. “They made me do it,” could very well be their response when questioned about IR35 and tax, or lack of it.
This is further referenced in the court case of Christa Ackroyd against HMRC, also known as “Christa Ackroyd Media Ltd v Revenue and Customs,” where many newspaper writers did comment that the BBC does not have a typical relationship with its freelancers and contractors which normal companies have.
In other words, the whole subject of tax and IR35 may very well be a special case when it comes to the BBC, and the way they are treated might need to be different than normal. Who knows for sure.
For example, Miss Ackroyd, who stars in the popular BBC programme “Look North” which is watched by millions, well, she said in the court battle that permission has to be sought from the BBC head honchos if she wanted to take on other work.
Normally, in the freelance and contractor world you are free to prospect who you want, when you want, and how you want. If you desire 2, 3, or even 4 jobs at once…do it, although it seems things could be different at the BBC. I don’t know exactly.
What I do know is that for the average freelancer and contractor, what you need to do is hire the right accountants to do your books for you.
If you get investigated by HMRC then you don’t have the so called “blame game,” to fall back on. That is why having a professional in your corner is so important.