Eamonn Holmes loses IR35 tax case

(2 minutes to read)

Seen as a ‘rare win’ for HMRC, Eamonn Holmes’ case just highlights the needless complexity for the IR35 legislation, say experts.

The This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes has lost his IR35 case to HM Revenue & Customs.

Arguing that he was a paid freelancer through his limited company Red, White and Green Limited, by ITV, during 2011/12 and 2014/15, Judge Harriet Morgan ruled that Mr Holmes was employed by ITV.

Although the amount that Mr Holmes will need to pay to HMRC has not yet been decided, there are reports that it could be nearly £250,000.

Holmes said, “I’ve been freelance for 28 years and that’s been okay. Now they’ve said it’s not okay. They have reinvented the rules in the past couple of years.

“There is nobody more freelance than me, but they are trying to prove our jobs are regular and guaranteed. They could go at any moment.”

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Seb Maley from Qdos, commented, “While this will go down as a rare win for HMRC, it is a result that has stemmed from the needless complexity of the IR35 legislation.

“This is not a typical IR35 case either. And Mr Holmes’ contract with ITV will have been quite different from the vast majority of contractor engagements. With this in mind, contractors, agencies and private sector firms that make well-informed decisions regarding status should not be deterred from engaging in outside IR35 arrangements.

“It’s no secret that HMRC is pursuing high-profile cases ahead of changes to the rules in the private sector. But having already failed to win IR35 tribunals against Lorraine Kelly and Talksport’s Paul Hawksbee in the past year, the tax office still has difficulty interpreting the very rules it designed.”

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