As published in the Independent
Kaye Adams’ treatment by the tax office was branded a “disgrace” by a senior Tory MP who accused HMRC of “bullying” self-employed workers.
Conservative former cabinet minister David Davis described in the Commons how the Loose Women presenter won a legal case against HMRC in a dispute over whether she should be taxed as an employee or a self-employed contractor.
The case related to IR35 rules, which are designed to clamp down on tax avoidance by so-called disguised employees, who charge for their services via limited companies.
Adam’s case has been one of a number of high-profile disputes between HMRC and broadcasters, including Gary Lineker and Lorraine Kelly, over their employment status.
“What HMRC are trying to do is move the guidelines by coercing Ms Adams and using her as an example to intimidate other self-employed workers to give in to HMRC’s bullying. This is a disgrace. It has gone on for too long”
Conservative former cabinet minister David Davis told the Commons: “A fortnight ago, Kaye Adams, the TV presenter, won her case against HMRC on IR35 status.
“Despite the fact that she won her first tax tribunal on this, over nine years the HMRC took her to either tribunal or court four times, forcing her to spend £200,000 in legal fees.
“HMRC spent many times that using two King’s Counsels at the last hearing alone.
“This was over a net tax bill of £70,000.
“There is no conceivable economic case for this.
“What HMRC are trying to do is move the guidelines by coercing Ms Adams and using her as an example to intimidate other self-employed workers to give in to HMRC’s bullying.
“This is a disgrace. It has gone on for too long.”
He added: “When is the Government going to review IR35 and, ideally, abolish it?”
Treasury minister Nigel Huddleston said: “It is our duty to ensure that everyone pays the right tax under the law regardless of wealth or status.”
“We do note the decision of tribunal. We’ll carefully analyse this before considering next steps.”
He said the rules are designed to ensure a “level playing field” between workers.