BBC presenter Christa Ackroyd has filed an appeal against the IR35 verdict. On September 2017, the tribunal had given the verdict that her work was inside the IR35 rule.
Ms.Ackroyd had worked as a BBC presenter for the regional TV news programmes BBC Look North and Calendar from 2001 to 2013. She currently faces an employment tax bill of up to £419,000 after losing the court case with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The current online listings in the Upper Tribunal shows a pending case of ‘Christa Ackroyd V HMRC’ with the case number UT/2018/0082.
Jolyon Maugham, QC, who will represent Ms. Ackroyd, has criticised the BBC for having profited from her Personal Service Company (PSC) for six years. During the appurtenance to the DCMS Select Committee, the legal professional had picked statements of the BBC on the usage of PSC that it had requested to be published.
One of the potential grounds of appeal is that the BBC was directly contracting the presenter. As a result, the intermediaries legislation does not come into play.
Another ground for appeal relates to the ‘control’. Being bound by the editorial guidelines of BBC does not mean that Ms. Ackroyd was an employee.
The appeal represents two out of a total three areas that that IR35 experts have pointed out that Ms. Ackroyd did not make an argument on to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT).
The third area that includes Mutuality of Obligation (MoO) may be a disputed point if the tribunal is influenced by the submission of HMRC in July that it is always present in a contract.
Ms. Ackroyd’s Chances of Success in Appeal against the IR35 Verdict
According to tax specialist Qdos, there were a number of additional points relating to Ms. Ackroyd’s case that indicate that her work was similar to an employee. The factual pointers against the former BBC presenter are dimmed to be ‘strong’.
However, Mr. Maugham’s recent tweet implied that he was confident about the success chances of her client. His statements suggest that other workers who shared her work factors will also be affected by the outcome of the case.
Citing a Times’ article, Mr. Maugham had stated that he believed that there are serious problems ahead for employers who use PSCs to shield from tax liabilities. The outcome of the case is expected to take about three months after the hearing.