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The IPSE has warned that the latest IR35 judgement against BBC presenters shows just how confusing and complex the tax regulation is.

The latest issue had BBC presenters Joanna Gosling, David Eades and Tim Wilcox being told to pay £920,000, despite a High Court judgement that the corporation had wrongly forced them to use personal service companies.

Andy Chamberlain, Deputy Director of Policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), commented, “That this case has taken eight years and ended up with an uncertain split decision shows how confusing and unfit for purpose IR35 is.”

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He added, “We will look at the judgement in detail but the uncertainty in the decision is likely to add to the chaos around this legislation. Recently, HMRC has lost the majority of these cases. There is little evidence that they or other experienced tax specialists are confident in how it works.

“We remain at a loss how the Treasury expects medium sized businesses to accurately apply IR35 to their contractors from next year when HMRC and tax judges struggle.

“These BBC cases are high profile but not typical of IR35 issues. Most involve freelancers and contractors working on innovation and productivity projects. Burdening business with the complexity of IR35 only damages the UK economy and the overall tax take. Instead, the Treasury should focus on reforming our telegram-era tax code to be fit for the broadband age.”

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