TV presenter Lorraine Kelly has won her case against HMRC at an IR35 tribunal. The case related to her engagements with ITV Breakfast Ltd and her own limited company, Albatel Ltd, covering the period September 2012 to July 2017. If she had lost the case, she would have been facing a £1.2million tax bill!
In this specific case, control was the key factor – HMRC relied on ITV’s editorial control, suggesting that Ms Kelly has a script to follow, specific clothes to wear and moves around the floor as directed. However it was decided this was far from the truth, with Ms Kelly having more control over her segments on the show as she has to perform and entertain as she sees fit.
The Judge ruled that the relationship that Ms Kelly had with ITV “was a contract for services and not that of employer and employee”. Ms Kelly did not receive staff benefits, such as holiday or sick pay, and was allowed to work on other projects.
This is yet another ruling against HMRC in their pursuit of hundreds of freelance presenters with further doubts being raised over HMRC’s grasp of IR35. A spokesman for HMRC said it was “disappointed” with the ruling and that they will be carefully considered the outcome before deciding to take cases to appeal going forward.