While BBC presenters might be earning a nice bit of change (all thanks to the licence payers), that hasn’t stopped the IR35 crackdown.
Regular readers of this blog will be only too aware about how the government have changed the IR35 rules for contractors and freelancers in recent years, with those working in the public sector most affected.
Well, those millionaire presenters at the BBC thought this whole IR35 thing didn’t apply to them, but a court of law has now spoken, and the judge at the head of that court has slammed down the hammer…to the tune of nearly half a million quid.
That is what happened to Christa Ackroyd who presents the BBC programme “Look North.” I’m sure she is good at her job, although I must say that I’ve never watched the show myself.
Neither has the judge, I would say, because as that hammer was being slammed down they ordered a payment of exactly £419,151 to be paid by Christa for not abiding by the proper IR35 legislation.
I’m sure she won’t enjoy writing out that cheque but what can she do? Not a lot, because when the government demand you have to make a payment then you better get your cheque book out.
So has Christa taken one for all BBC presenters or is this just the start of a saga that is going to be in the headlines over the coming months? Unfortunately for those BBC millionaire stars it is the latter, because if reports are to be trusted then we can expect to be hearing about more BBC employees being hit up for IR35 money.
Around 100 of the BBC team are being looked at right now, and if wrongdoing is found then it wouldn’t surprise me if the whole organisation comes under scrutiny.
It’s no secret that many BBC presenters have been accused of forming Limited Companies and funnelling their money into certain places in a bid to pay less tax and avoid IR35. Who knows if this is true or not? I really don’t know, but what I do know is that investigations should be made so we can get a clearer view of the situation.
Of course, the IR35 situation has already affected millions of people in the public sector, with many deciding to down tools at the first available opportunity and move towards the private sector.
They might not be safe for long though, as the Autumn Budget last year gave us a glimpse into what Philip Hammond and the government have in store.
What they are proposing is everyone be subjected to the IR35 thing, even those who are working in the private sector.
“Watch your back contractors and freelancers,” is my advice, although hopefully you won’t get hit up for half a million quid if the government do come knocking.