More Adrian Chiles (this time, it’s IR35)

This is an unprecedented second post in one day about Adrian Chiles. Tony Lennon has been in touch to nod me towards Chiles’ legal vindication against HMRC where his appeal has established that – in working through his media-based company, Basic Broadcasting Ltd (“BBL”), they were contracts for services and not contracts of employment, and therefore IR35 did not apply.

It seems that the initial appearance of the contracts was that they were contracts of employment, but once the whole picture was taken into account, Chiles’ appeal against a hefty tax bill (different newspapers have different figures).

Contractor Calculator has a very good, full report on this. The factors that they report include things like….

  • Hiring his own personal assistant.
  • Paying an agency 15% of his fees to manage and develop his career.
  • He was an entertainer and a “brand”.
  • He carried out unpaid activities to maintain and grow his profile whilst turning down a variety of work.
  • He helped create a show and was entitled to a 50% share of production profits together with Avalon – a television production company, as well as the agency managing him.
  • He developed and pitched his own ideas and contributed to other television programmes.
  • He presented other programmes for multiple production companies.
  • He wrote for several national newspapers.
  • He had provided his services as a broadcaster and journalist to a significant number of clients. In the period 1996 to 2019 he contracted with nearly 100 different third parties.
  • He was able to benefit from sound business management.

Many of these factors may apply to some Bectu members who have been caught within IR35, though plainly Chiles’ is an exceptional case. It’s hard to disagree with Contractor Calculator that this was a bad case for HMRC to pursue and that Chiles has had to fight very hard to put right a genuine injustice here.

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