IR35 applies to Eamonn Holmes’ work on This Morning

Devereux’s Christopher Stone (led by Adam Tolley QC) was instructed on behalf of HMRC.

The First-tier Tax Tribunal (FTT) has decided that IR35 applied to the engagement of Eamonn Holmes by ITV, through his personal service company (PSC) (Red, White and Green), for work on This Morning.  A copy of the decision is available here.

The decision comes out shortly before the reforms to IR35 in the private sector, which will see medium and large clients for the first time determining whether IR35 applies to the engagement of contractors via a PSC. It is a timely reminder that IR35 can apply even if the contractor is not required to work full time for one client, and indeed even if the majority of income is received from other clients.

Following an extensive review of the relevant case law, Judge Morgan concluded that in a hypothetical direct contract between ITV and Mr Holmes there would have been sufficient mutuality of obligation and a sufficient framework of control by ITV over his work, notwithstanding a lack of control in the moment of delivery in a live broadcast.  The FTT rejected the submission that Mr Holmes was selling a product to ITV in the form of the entertainment that he provided.

This is the latest in a number of decisions to consider employment status in the tax tribunals. Barristers from Devereux Chambers have been heavily involved throughout, including in the FTT and Upper Tribunal in Christa Ackroyd Media, the FTT and Upper Tribunal in PGMOL (status of referees), and the FTT in Paya and others; Atholl House; and RALC. The Upper Tribunal appeal in Kickabout Productions (involving three Devereux members) is being heard in June. Christopher Stone appeared for HMRC in Red, White and Green.  Devereux members are accordingly very well placed to assist with preparations for the introduction of the Off Payroll Rules in advance of the 6/4/2020 commencement date. Further information is available here.

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