Saturday, October 8, 2016


Let's be clear. A number of BBC presenters have made it plain over the years that they were told by senior managers to form private service companies in order to keep being paid.

They include Fiona Bruce, Jeremy Paxman and others further down the twinkling chain of stardom - even in the crepuscular medium of radio.

So the news that HMRC is still chasing some, now back on staff and PAYE, for back tax is odd. And maybe it's why the BBC wants to be a party to the case. The BBC has highly-paid tax advisers, internally and as consultants, who maintain close relationships with HMRC. The BBC has never in my working lifetime been known to avoid a rule; it is compliant to the point of advanced sado-masochism, and scans the horizon for all new regulation to be first adopters. The idea that it would connive with an employee to avoid paying the appropriate rate of tax is daft.

Someone needs to make the case for those caught in the middle of this mess.

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