Tax  

HMRC defeated in latest IR35 case

The tribunal accepted this submission and allowed the appeal in full, meaning Mr Alcock is not liable to pay the income tax and NICs assessed by HMRC.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “HMRC is disappointed with the decision of the tribunal and intends to appeal.”

Dave Chaplin, chief executive of Contractor Calculator, said: “HMRC should have spotted that IR35 clearly did not apply from the outset. In my view the investigation was not conducted in a balanced manner and HMRC cherry picked from evidence that they wrote themselves and which had not been corroborated.  

“It demonstrates a clear investigative failure by HMRC.”

He added: “What’s more striking is the fact that the case was won primarily on mutuality of obligation, which should surely now be the final nail in the coffin for CEST, HMRCs online assessment tool – because this essential employment status test is still missing from their tool.”

However, many IR35 cases have recently gone in HMRC’s favour.

Last week (October 28), former BBC presenter Christa Ackroyd lost her appeal against the tax authority making her liable for more than £400,000 in outstanding tax under IR35 legislation.

Ms Ackroyd was employed through Christa Ackroyd Media to present Look North on BBC1 until the contract with the company was terminated in 2013.

HMRC claimed Ms Ackroyd's status was that of an employee, and that therefore CAM should pay tax and national insurance. But she claimed she was a self-employed contractor.

There was also another similar decision in September where HMRC won a case against three BBC freelance presenters who were considered liable for income tax and national insurance bills under IR35 legislation.

But in these cases the taxman was unable to recoup the total sum owed because the judges considered the presenters and their advisers had acted in good faith, contrary to HMRC’s claims.

amy.austin@ft.com

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