PAYEr Beware: Analysing the Treatment of Employment Status in Atholl House and Kickabout

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The recent judgments of the Court of Appeal in HMRC v Atholl House Productions Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 501, [2022] STC 837 (‘Atholl House’) and HMRC v Kickabout Productions Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 502, [2022] STC 876 (‘Kickabout’) have thrown new light on an ongoing question about the precise interface between employment status as it exists in the context of employment law, and the interpretation of that same concept as a part of tax law. While there has been a general move in the case law towards a more unitary concept of ‘employment’ in both disciplines,1 the recent judgments from the identically-constituted panels in Atholl House and Kickabout (concerning the employment status of two radio presenters for the purposes of the ‘IR35’ tax regime) appear to suggest that the concept of ‘employee’ for the purposes of tax law has different conceptual underpinnings than that same status as applied to employment law.

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