Radio Presenter an Independent Contractor, Tax Tribunal Rules

4th June 2021 By

The vexed distinction between employees and independent contractors is a constant source of dispute, not least in the realm of tax. Each case has to be decided on its own unique facts and, in one case, the Upper Tribunal (UT) ruled that a radio presenter was genuinely freelance and was thus not caught by the intermediaries legislation, commonly known as IR35.

The presenter provided her services to a broadcaster under the aegis of her own personal service company. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) decided that, if the company’s role as intermediary were taken out of the equation, the reality of the situation was that she would be the broadcaster’s employee. On that basis, the company was assessed for PAYE and National Insurance Contributions on her earnings derived from the broadcaster in respect of two tax years. After she appealed, however, that decision was overturned by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT).

Ruling on HMRC’s challenge to that outcome, the UT noted that the company’s contract with the broadcaster required the presenter to make 160 programmes annually for a minimum fee of £155,000. The contract was non-exclusive and she was in practice granted substantial latitude and autonomy in going about her work.

There was, however, a mutuality of obligation and the broadcaster had significant control over where, when and how she provided her services. During the relevant tax years, between 50 and 70 per cent of her income derived from the broadcaster, which demanded a good proportion of her available working time.

Dismissing the appeal, however, the UT found that she was nevertheless in business as a freelance presenter on her own account. She was an expert in her field, with a 20-year record of presenting successful shows. It was an uncertain profession and she was exposed to the ebb and flow of fickle audiences and cancelled shows. Taken in the round, the evidence did not displace the FTT’s conclusion that her relationship with the broadcaster was that of an independent contractor.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Award That Requires Borrowing Made Into Court Order

17th May, 2024 By

Disagreements between separating couples all too often result in litigation that substantially reduces the assets available to them, as was illustrated by a case that recently reached the High Court. At issue was whether awards made by arbitrators in financial remedy proceedings can be made into court orders even if that would require one of the parties to borrow money. The couple had previously had a relationship lasting a few years before resuming their relationship in 2015. They had two children before separating again in 2019. Following their separation, the...

Inheritance Disputes – Costs Risks Can Be Reduced

15th May, 2024 By

Arguments about what someone promised before their death can lead to significant legal costs. However, if faced with a claim against the estate, there may be steps the beneficiaries or executors can take to reduce the risks, as a recent High Court case illustrated. A man had left a farmhouse and agricultural land in Cornwall to his wife, with whom he had also jointly owned a neighbouring area of land. After his death, one of the couple's daughters and her husband claimed that he had told them he wanted them...

Share Rounding Error Does Not Prevent CGT Relief

13th May, 2024 By

There are often very specific rules that must be complied with in order to claim tax reliefs, but if a small mistake arises, the courts may be able to provide assistance. In a recent case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that an investor was entitled to Entrepreneurs' Relief on the disposal of his shares in a company, despite owning one share fewer than he needed to qualify for it. The investor had agreed to purchase 5 per cent of the shares in the company for £500,000. He wished to own...

Wife Entitled to Maintenance Until Sale of Family Home

10th May, 2024 By

When divorcing couples disagree on how assets should be divided, the courts will seek to arrive at a fair outcome for both parties. In deciding how the proceeds of sale of a former couple's home should be apportioned, the Family Court agreed with the wife that she should receive maintenance payments until the sale took place. The couple had married in 2006. Following a brief separation, they had reconciled for two years before finally separating in 2022. The husband and wife both contended that they should be entitled to about...