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MPs "Shocked" by BBC's Tax Arrangements

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MPs "Shocked" by BBC's Tax Arrangements

Post  Panda on Fri 5 Oct - 11:49

MPs 'Shocked' By BBC's Tax Arrangements


The Public Accounts Committee finds that many BBC employees are not taxed at source, leading to concerns about tax avoidance.


10:16am UK, Friday 05 October 2012



Video: Up to 25,000 BBC employees may not pay tax at source
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MPs have raised concerns that the BBC employs up to 25,000 people a year who do not pay tax at source.

The cross-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it was "shocked" to discover how many off-payroll contracts, under which individuals must make their own tax and national insurance payments, were provided by the BBC.

According to the committee, that number includes 13,000 people who appear on television and radio - so-called on-air "talent" - and another 12,000 off-air staff. Some 3,000 are paid via private companies, potentially allowing them to limit their tax liabilities.

But the BBC insisted that actual number of people employed on this basis was far fewer than 25,000 as "in many cases an individual - such as an occasional contributor to programmes - could be issued with a contract each time he or she is booked to appear".

PAC chairwoman Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP, said the use of off-payroll arrangements gave rise to "suspicions of complicity in tax avoidance".

The figures emerged as part of a PAC inquiry set up after controversy over Student Loans Company boss Ed Lester's employment through a personal service company without tax being deducted.

The Treasury disclosed in May, after conducting its own review of the practice in Whitehall, that more than 2,400 staff, each earning more than £58,200 a year, were being paid directly and without PAYE deductions.

But the PAC warned that the Treasury's review of off-payroll arrangements had been "limited" because it did not cover the wider public sector like local government, the NHS or the BBC.

Mrs Hodge said the committee suspected "many individuals and employers in local government and in the health service do not pay their proper tax and national insurance contributions".

The corporation told the PAC inquiry that its off-payroll staff were "freelance workers" and that the arrangements were "a pretty standard model" in the media industry and "important to the economics of the BBC".

It is conducting a detailed review of the practice

Panda
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