Posted on April 3, 2019

Lorraine Kelly defeats HMRC in IR35 case.

It seems HMRC has been targeting high profile celebrity clients for IR35 investigations with household names such as Eamonn Holmes, Christa Ackroyd and Lorraine Kelly’s names being headlines in the national press. It may seem that HMRC’S strategy is to catch a few high profile celebrities to create newspaper headlines which will scare the populous into believing there engagements are inside of IR35.

This strategy could be successful if HMRC were having more success in their high profile cases. Out of the last 12 IR35 cases HMRC has brought, it has lost 9 drawn 2 and won 1.

Loraine Kelly was convincingly cleared of IR35 in a case Kelly v Ackroyd where HMRC were chasing her for 1.2m which was embarrassing for HMRC.

The case’s pertinent point was the level of control exerted was far below the level of control required for her to be deemed an employee under the intermediary legislation. Lorraine Kelly did her own preparations and research, choose the running order, who was her co-presenter and who to interview hardly the actions of someone who was controlled.

The case was an embarrassing public defeat for HMRC and useful to show what a lack of control looks like in practice.