So, they strengthened the headline a bit:

The BBC, not its presenters, is the real tax dodger

A bit stronger than me:

Some 100 or so of the BBC’s highly paid presenters and talent are said to have used such a scheme, on the grounds that the BBC encouraged them to do so. It’s employers’ NI which goes unpaid here, so who is the tax dodger? Possibly the employer, the BBC itself?

Sadly, they took out the reference to Richard Murphy, the man who recommended such schemes for nannies in The Observer.

13 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Don’t the presenters do other things like opening supermarkets and village fates for fee? In which case why aren’t they a full limited company with multiple customers, even if one of them generates 99% or their income?

  2. Well, yes and no Tim.

    The BBC want to contract with a company to avoid all of the pesky problems of an employee. NI is one but so are holidays, sick pay, employment tribunals, and then sacking them when they turn out to be rubbish. Much easier with a contracted company.

    At that point, the BBC don’t give a toss what happens to the money they have given to the contracting company.

    That company can pay it as salary, dividends, not pay it at all, invest it set fire to it. The BBC won’t and don’t care.

    So the fact that most contracting companies will pay salary/dividends isn’t part of a “BBC scheme”. Their part of it ends with the signing of the contract with the company and is not just about saving employers’ NI.

    I only say that to give as full a picture as possible.

    Next time you want some building work done, you could EMPLOY a builder. That you don’t, that you contract with them instead is for a host of reasons. NI is in there somewhere.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    “This specific case, the BBC actually paid her *not* to do other work. That’s very close to employee.”

    It’s hard to see how it could be argued it wasn’t employment in that case. .

  4. Note that I skate around whether she should be an employee, contractor, company. My point (and this slot is 450 words maximum) is, OK, given the arrangement, who is dodging which tax?

  5. The BBC’s commitment to socialist propaganda is a far superior reason to both castigate and –better still–destroy them than whatever tax dodging they may have engaged in.

    A 24 hour permanent shutdown will more than punish any supposed tax fiddlers–if they even are fiddling–amongst their twisted WOMiCCuMaLoBuS ranks.*

    *Womiccumalobus– that’s the word. As acronyms go that’s a gobful.

  6. WOMiCCuMaLoBuS

    Ok, you got me with that one. ‘CM’ I get. ‘FFC’ I get.

    ‘WOMiCCuMaLoBuS’, though. Haven’t got a scooby.

  7. “NI is one but so are holidays, sick pay, employment tribunals” and maternity pay, pension contributions, bonuses … It’s a right bugger being an employer.

    Enough of this namely-pamby stuff, let’s get to the big question. Was her company paid as much for her services and a comparable man’s company was?

  8. “Some small amount of wages are paid ..”: some defunct West Country monk is spinning in his grave at that solecism.

  9. Is Employers NI not incident on the employee so are they not the one avoiding the tax? Probably means they didn’t charge the bbc enough to cover their risks or true market value……

  10. Her company (CAM) is the party responsible for any evasion of tax (imo), by not applying the intermediaries legislation to that particular contract. Though I do have sympathy, if the company took advice, and was told the contract was fine – given that, apparently:

    – Ackroyd accepted that the BBC ultimately had the right to specify what services CAM Ltd would provide

    – The court determined that, through the editor, the BBC would have control over content, given its editorial responsibility

    – Ackroyd’s contract restricted her from providing services to other organisations in the UK without the consent of the BBC

    – Ackroyd was contractually obliged to perform the services, and the BBC was contractually obliged to pay fees to CAM Ltd on a monthly basis

    – CAM Ltd was prohibited from using a substitute for Ackroyd


    And the second contract (the one contested) was for 7 years (ie she was “personally” contracted full time for 7 years).

    I’m struggling to see – all taken together – how the adviser came to the view it did. The case is here:


    And reading the actual BBC / CAM contract (the appendix at the bottom of the link) doesn’t really help either (clause 1 sets the tone!).

    Any of the tax guys here think the decision was wrong?

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