HMRC has confirmed that it will not go back to the tax courts and appeal the latest decision in the long-running IR35 case of Loose Women presenter
Kaye Adams has been embroiled in a nine-year dispute with HMRC over tax on earnings related to contract work paid through her personal service company, Atholl House Products Limited.
The total disputed income tax and National Insurance was £124,000 and at the most recent court hearing the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) judged that Adams was hired on a self-employed basis under a contract of service which did not fall under the IR35 rules. This judgment was handed down in December and follows four separate cases which started in 2019.
An HMRC spokesperson said: ‘Given this litigation has been ongoing for a number of years and the FTT does not set binding legal precedents, we don’t think it would be proportionate to appeal in this case.
‘We always seek to resolve disputes out of court first and only take action to litigate where this isn’t possible.’
HMRC said they always ‘carefully consider a variety of factors when deciding whether to appeal litigation cases, including the tax we think is due under the law, whether clarification of that law would be helpful and whether we can achieve that clarification in other ways’.
The majority of recent IR35 cases at the tribunal have involved big name TV presenters, particularly those hired by Sky and the BCC as contractors, and the majority have been won by HMRC. However, a number are going through the appeals process.
HMRC stressed that ‘most decisions on employment status are straightforward and do not involve litigation. A small number are more finely balanced, generally because of their complexity or because there are unusual circumstances’.
In the Adams’ case, HMRC opened an initial inquiry related to the four tax years ending 5 April 2014 to 5 April 2017 but dropped two years. Atholl House disputed the tax claims for two years from 2015 to 2017. The total tax due, in HMRC’s view, was income tax of £81,150.60 and NICs of £43,290.98.