BBC ‘paid PSCs £4million more during crackdown’

The BBC has been quietly spending more of taxpayers’ money on paying its staff through limited companies -- every year since it vowed to curb the practice, an investigation claims.

The corporation spent £20.8million last year on paying 66 of its 96 top-earning presenters via Personal Service Companies, show BBC figures released to the investigation by the Times.

That compares to £18.5m in 2015/16; which is also up from the £17.9m that the BBC paid the PSCs in 2014/15, which is up too from the £16.6m it paid them in 2013/14.

Crucially, the 2013/14 tax year is when the BBC launched an internal crackdown and contract review process to “move away” from paying its long-serving presenters as PSCs.

Yet the BBC’s own figures -- which show the total amount it paid to the PSCs to have increased by 25 per cent (between 2013/14 and 2016/17), seem to show the exact opposite.

In total, a hefty £74m has been paid by the BBC to the PSCs in the last four years, potentially saving the BBC £2.8m in Employer NICs, found the investigation, citing tax experts.

The presenters too were estimated to have saved ‘up to £10million,’ although names were not released and there is no suggestion that the PSCs were used to avoid paying all the taxes due.

Similarly, the BBC denies it made any attempt to avoid tax or NICs, and further rejects an allegation that it paid the PSCs in “secret”, saying that the “deals” were reported to HMRC.

Editor's Note: Related --

BBC 'bullied presenters into becoming PSCs'

BBC makes hardship payments to IR35-hit presenters

PSCs must keep calm and carry on despite the Ackroyd case

BBC host in IR35 battle 'forced to use a PSC'

IR35 expert regrets 'missed opportunity' to quiz HMRC on CEST

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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