Christa Ackroyd loses appeal over £420,000 Tax Bill

Christa Ackroyd loses IR35 appeal

Former BBC presenter, Christa Ackroyd has lost her appeal over £420,000 tax bill against a ruling that she was an employee of the BBC and not a freelance contractor.

Christa Ackroyd presented Look North in Yorkshire between 2001 and 2013. She was one of many that was employed by the BBC VIA personal service companies.

Judges in the Upper Tier Tribunal upheld last year’s First Tier Tribunal ruling that she was a BBC employee when she presented Look North in Yorkshire and was therefore liable to pay income tax and national insurance contributions. The years in question were 2006/07 to 2012/13, while she worked for the BBC through her personal service company – Christa Ackroyd Media (CAM).

HMRC had argued that as an employee of Christa Ackroyd Media Ltd (CAM), the company was liable for income tax and national insurance payments while Christa Ackroyd claimed she was a self-employed contractor and CAM had no further liability. HMRC has stated “Employment status is never a matter of choice; it is always dictated by the facts and when the wrong tax is being paid, we put things right”.

Christa Ackroyd is one of many television presenters who were paid by the BBC through personal service companies, many of whom are still being pursued by HMRC under the IR35 rules. HMRC says that it has won most of the tribunal decisions involving television presenters like Ackroyd. However, it has also lost a number of high-profile cases, this includes a £1.2m appeal by Lorraine Kelly.

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