Documents lodged at a tax tribunal recently show that HMRC are chasing presenter Gary Lineker over tax and National Insurance bills totalling £4.9 million.
The battle relates to HMRC pursuing a number of individuals who are hired and paid on a freelance basis, but who they feel are actually operating on the same terms as employees of companies and should thus be paying the same rate of tax – despite not getting any of the benefits that full-time staff generally do.
This is the latest case linked with IR35 legislation, which has also seen other television presenters including Eamonn Holmes and Lorraine Kelly chased for unpaid tax. Kelly successfully argued against the claim on her £1.2m bill.
Lineker is facing two separate bills totalling £3,621,735.90 and £1,307,160.46, a total of just shy of £5m, though he would not have to pay the entire amount because it would be offset by payments already made. The Telegraph reports that he would have to cough up less than £1m additionally if HMRC are successful in their claim.
In his case, the claims relate to his work with BBC Sport, with his appearances as Match of the Day host during the period of 2013 to 2018 suggesting he was effectively employed by the company.
He is also a presenter for BT Sport, hosting Champions League nights.
The case has been ongoing for a year, with the former England striker being paid by the companies which hire him through a partnership company set up with his former wife, Danielle Bux.
Lineker’s agent told The Daily Telegraph that “he has paid all personal tax” and that the amount claimed to be owed “is notional and disputed. Gary remains a self-employed contractor for several organisations.”
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