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BBC helps thousands of its staff to evade tax

Written on:October 5, 2023
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Labour MP Margaret Hodge has urged high propriety in the fight against tax dodging

The BBC, a name known globally because of its deep-rooted presence in the news media world, has become entangled in an unsightly row over ‘tax avoidance.’ UK MPs have accused the BBC of helping thousands of its staffers to avoid paying tax.

The UK’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has reproached the BBC in a report, in which the Committee has voiced that the BBC could be involved in ‘tax avoidance’ as it has permitted its employees to be remunerated as if they were companies rather than individual employees.

Reports have indicated BBC’s famous newsreaders like Gavin Esler, Joanne Gosling as well as Newsnight presenter, Jeremy Paxman, are remunerated in the aforementioned contentious fashion.

The parliamentarians have demonstrated their utter shock due to these findings, with the MPs remarking that this way of payment of the BBC to its employees is staggeringly incorrect and must stop. This method of remuneration permits the BBC and its workers to offer considerably less income tax.

The BBC can shun National Insurance contributions when remunerating employees this way. Also, the national broadcaster, BBC, has confessed it had remunerated 1500 of its well-known radio and TV stars this way.

The Committee’s unseemly finding could ensure that the BBC renegotiates its contractual agreements with many of its highly paid presenters. Otherwise, the BBC could have to publicise its tax affairs.

The Committee detected that the BBC, which obtains £3.6 billion per year from license fee payers, had issued 25,000 contracts to freelance contributors and had no awareness of whether they were adhering to tax rules.

The BBC has stated these were short-term contracts and that it was reviewing its ‘controversial tax arrangements.’

Labour MP, Margaret Hodge, who occupies the PAC’s chairmanship, has remarked the public sector must observe strict propriety in its employment norms if it intends to lead the fight against tax dodging. The sector must dodge the habit of utilising off-payroll arrangements for staffers.

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