The BBC has recently been making the news for the wrong reasons. As a public sector body, the BBC came under severe criticism for using contractors or freelancers when many of its highly paid staff should have or could have been on the payroll.
The government brought in stringent and controversial IR35 changes to the public sector to prevent what was seen by it as an abuse of the system. The new rules placed additional responsibilities on the clients of contractors. There has been speculation that these changes may in time also move into the private sector.
The BBC has also recently come in for criticism from a Parliamentary Committee hearing by presenters, who claimed that they had been bullied into using limited companies by the corporation.
One of the presenters who claimed this was Christa Ackroyd, who as the result of an IR35 investigation is now facing a £400,000 tax bill from HMRC.
The tribunal that heard Ackroyd’s appeal against the decision of the IR35 investigation found that she was in fact a disguised employee.
The decision of the tribunal could have serious implications for other BBC presenters who have worked for the company via their own limited companies and who also have appeals lodged against HMRC.
However, the tribunal played down the importance of the decision, saying: “We understand that the present appeal is one of a number of other appeals involving television presenters and personal service companies. However, this is not a lead case as such.”