Gary Lineker in status row with HMRC
The mainstream media has been awash with reports that former England international and current BBC favourite Gary Lineker is being pursued by HMRC for almost £5 million in unpaid tax. What’s the truth behind the headlines?
As with previous cases, HMRC is attesting that Gary Lineker was engaged on terms that meant he was employed in all but name by the BBC and BT Sports for work done between 2013 and 2018, i.e. whether the engagements were caught by IR35. His services are provided through a personal service company. HMRC is pursuing “unpaid” tax of £3.6 million and NI of £1.3 million.
For his part, Mr Lineker strongly denies that he owes HMRC anything. Interestingly, it has been reported that part of the refuting argument is how much leeway he appears to have in terms of political commentary on social media - BBC employees are required to be impartial on such platforms. Whether this carries any weight at tribunal will be interesting to follow. Mr Lineker can take some encouragement that the cases of Lorraine Kelly and Kaye Adams both found in favour of the presenters. However, Eammon Holmes was less fortunate and is currently awaiting an appeal to the Upper Tribunal after losing his initial appeal.