Moira Stuart caught in tax furore

The official face of HMRC in recent years has attracted media attention for channelling her fees through a personal services company. 

The BBC newsreader, who fronts the Self Assessment advertising campaign with the catchphrase "tax doesn't have to be taxing", set up the firm that entitled her to pay corporation tax at the small companies rate of 21% on some of her earnings.

The Telegraph reported that Companies House filings reveal she is sole director and shareholder of Moira Stuart Limited. The accounts show that £22,607 was paid into the company in 2010-11, and after £1,749 of administrative expenses, she paid £4,380 in corporation tax on the profit.

The arrangement is legitimate for freelancers, but HMRC is supposed to take action against people who it judges to be "disguised employees".

Continued...

» Register now

The full article is available to registered AccountingWEB members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register.

Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.

Comments
memyself-eye's picture

The telegraph aldso said..

memyself-eye | | Permalink

That her tax bill as a self-employed person would have  been 'up to' £11,303 a number I cannot reconcile. It also ignored her personal allowance!

So much for even handedness!

bookmarklee's picture

This story was poorly reported - sorry Robert    5 thanks

bookmarklee | | Permalink

We can make some educated guesses here.

Moira provides all of her services through a company as much to avoid anyone incorrectly trying to apply PAYE to her fees. Many larger businesses will not pay any individual contractors and service providers gross for fear of the penalties if HMRC decide they were 'really' employees. So a blanket rule is imposed. To avoid suffering PAYE on self-employed fees the supplier has to provide their services through a company.

(NB: I am NOT for a moment defending the use of such companies by people who are in effect employees of gov't depts - espec if they are all but full time 'employed' there)

Yes the company pays corporation tax at 21% on it's profits BUT Moira has to pay more tax to get the money out of the company.  Comparing 50% IT with 21% CT is like comparing apples and pears. It's not the whole picture.  If she draws a salary this is taxed the same way as would have been the case if she'd been on staff elsewhere and it reduces her CT bill.  If she follows STANDARD and WIDESPREAD tax planning advice she instead draws dividends out of the company and pays higher rate tax thereon. The aggregate tax paid in such cases (incl CT and IT) is not far different from the IT she would have paid had she operated as a sole trader.

What's worse is that the legitimate criticism of the full time senior civil servants is being confused by ref to independent contractors like Moira Stuart and the accountant who helped the OTS on a part time non-employment related basis.

Mark 

 

George Attazder's picture

@Mark...    2 thanks

George Attazder | | Permalink

... please let the more cynical of us bask in the irony a while, before leaping to the lady's aid!

Nichola Ross Martin's picture

@ Mark

Nichola Ross Martin | | Permalink

I agree.

Being engaged on intermittent ad campaigns is not generally an employment indicator!

Poor reporting/investigating by the telegraph this time around

justsotax | | Permalink

I am afraid.  I am not sure i can see anything wrong with arranging her affairs in this way for adhoc/one off contract work  I suspect all 'actors' doing such adverts would be classed as self employed....no difference.

 

As for Hague - shows a complete lack of understanding for the subject.  Instead he goes for the popular vote winning approach of 'all this is wrong'.....I wonder has he ever used a Ltd Co as a legitimate way of reducing his tax bill....hmmmm..... 

Nothing to see here ...    8 thanks

mikewhit | | Permalink

... freelance person using freelance earnings vehicle ... move along please ...

 

Next: taxpayers using ISAs to avoid paying tax on interest.

@mikewhit....

justsotax | | Permalink

'Next: taxpayers using ISAs to avoid paying tax on interest.''

 

Well put...LOL

 

 

 

AT THE THE HEART OF THIS GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPTION

david5541 | | Permalink

NOT ONLY DOES POOR MOIRA WHO ALSO DOES OTHER WORK FOR THE BBC AND THE CHEIF EXEC OF THE STUDENT LOANS COMPANY AVOID TAX .......BUT THE MOD HAS SPENT 200M ON FREELANCE CONSULTANTS INSTEAD OF KEEPING ON THE SOLDIERS.... AND THEN THERE ARE ALL THE EXECUTIVES OF THE UKFI(GOVERNMENT OWNED) BANKS WHO DONT SEEM TO SHOW ANY REGARD FOR OUR TAX BASE AND TAKE INCOME TAX/NIC FREE SHARE OPTIONS.   

 LETS ALL GET OFF MOIRA'S BACK.....

moira

david5541 | | Permalink

bookmarklee wrote:

We can make some educated guesses here.

Moira provides all of her services through a company as much to avoid anyone incorrectly trying to apply PAYE to her fees. Many larger businesses will not pay any individual contractors and service providers gross for fear of the penalties if HMRC decide they were 'really' employees. So a blanket rule is imposed. To avoid suffering PAYE on self-employed fees the supplier has to provide their services through a company.

(NB: I am NOT for a moment defending the use of such companies by people who are in effect employees of gov't depts - espec if they are all but full time 'employed' there)

Yes the company pays corporation tax at 21% on it's profits BUT Moira has to pay more tax to get the money out of the company.  Comparing 50% IT with 21% CT is like comparing apples and pears. It's not the whole picture.  If she draws a salary this is taxed the same way as would have been the case if she'd been on staff elsewhere and it reduces her CT bill.  If she follows STANDARD and WIDESPREAD tax planning advice she instead draws dividends out of the company and pays higher rate tax thereon. The aggregate tax paid in such cases (incl CT and IT) is not far different from the IT she would have paid had she operated as a sole trader.

What's worse is that the legitimate criticism of the full time senior civil servants is being confused by ref to independent contractors like Moira Stuart and the accountant who helped the OTS on a part time non-employment related basis.

Mark 

THERE isnt much hmrc; the students loans company; or any other government department has to do except apply the BR tax code to all contractor payments regardless of the contractor's status I bet HMRC PAYE auditors would be the first to insist on this!

Constantly Confused's picture

But she's so easy to dislike

Constantly Confused | | Permalink

With her 'holier than thou' smirk when she stares at us from the pages of the HMRC website, and her inability to read the page in front of her when she reads the news on the radio.

She is so easy to dislike... but I do agree that this story harms her not (my first thought was 'great, so her company pays 21% tax, is she leaving the profits in there then?')

robertlovell's picture

@Mark    1 thanks

robertlovell | | Permalink

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your feedback, and my apologies if some of the wording used in the original article was not absolutely clear. I’ve changed the headline and some of the text to reflect your comments.

To an extent, there is not that much news value in a TV presenter putting her fees through a personal services company, but because of her association with HRMC, we did feel that it was newsworthy, and dare we say it somewhat ironic, that that national press had picked up on it.

Celebrity taxation stories are becoming such a big feature of the current media scene that we don’t feel we can ignore them on AccountingWEB, and in many instances they offer insights that can help illuminate aspects that help members understand other tax cases  (or at least that’s what I heard the editor say when he was discussing the matter internally).

Time for change's picture

Can't wait to see what reference

Time for change | | Permalink

the Budget statement contains to all of this recent stuff.

Strange isn't it, even the "gamekeepers" department are using these "avoidance" schemes. Who ever would have thought it. Time for some plain speaking and, more importantly, simple thinking?

Sorry Nichola BUT HMRC's views on IR35 legislation show ...    1 thanks

dstickl | | Permalink

Nichola Ross Martin wrote:

I agree.

Being engaged on intermittent ad campaigns is not generally an employment indicator!

Sorry Nichola BUT may I draw your attention, please, to HMRC's views expressed at IR35 forum on IR35 legislation? Here we go, with my underlined bold italics for your easy reference QUOTE IR35 Forum - minutes

Date: 14 September 2011 Location: Room 2/51, 100 Parliament Street Time: 11.00 to 13.30

Risk assessment

25.  HMRC reiterated that it would share its broad risk assessment with the Forum but would not share detailed risk profiling.

26.  It was suggested that HMRC should risk profile based on whether or not the taxpayer is in business on their own account, rather than on the nature of individual contracts. HMRC advised that the way IR35 is structured, the legislation applies contract by contract. The challenge will be to have regard to the nature of the business in terms of identifying risk whilst not undermining the legislation.

27.  HMRC confirmed that the service company question on the ITSA Return is used as part of its wider risk assessment process. It was acknowledged that in many cases the question is left blank which itself can be risk profiled against other entries on the return which would tend to indicate that the question should have been answered. The question is only one factor in HMRC’s wider risk profiling.

28.  HMRC made clear that whilst it would strive only to select for review high risk cases, risk profiling is such that inevitably in some cases selected it will subsequently be accepted that IR35 does not apply. HMRC’s strategy will be to reduce to a minimum cases selected which subsequently transpire to be not caught by IR35, but where that occurs, to close such cases at the earliest possible time. ENDQUOTE

 

What the above indicates, in my humble opinion, is that being engaged on intermittent ad campaigns may be examined contract by contract UNDER THE LAW, whatever the HMRC "informal guidance" may say! 

Furthermore, by incorporating as "Moira Stuart Limited" it is my personal opinion that that the personal service of Moira is being offered, perhaps without substitution of Moira's personal service, on the basis of reports that we have received so far. Furthermore, on the subject of control, Moira seems to me - in my opinion - to have to follow the direction(s) of the Director directing the filming or the videoing of each particular ad. SUM UP On the basis of information available to me so far, and in my opinion, Moira seems to me to be caught by the IR35 net, on the basis of legislation. QUESTION: Has any "deemed payment" due under IR35 been paid in full to HMRC?

CONCLUSION: IF YES, THEN there is no story! AND to help "end users" of "her" ads like myself, may I suggest that such work should be "Badged" with an "IR35 Tax Disc", or similar, please?

why 'full' accounts submitted to Companies House?

1796971 | | Permalink

If I were Moira, I'd think about getting a new accountant.

Why weren't abbreviated accounts sent in to Companies House? If there hadn't been a P&L account put on the record, then I guess there wouldn't have been this publicity.

 

johnjenkins's picture

@1796971

johnjenkins | | Permalink

Perhaps her Accountant was pre-empting the new EU directive concerning micro-companies.

What is the Problem?    1 thanks

brian.barrett | | Permalink

Moira is legitimately taking advantage of what is available.  If the government did not want to allow people to be paid through their own companies they could take appropriate action ...

... ah - but they have of course tried to do this with IR35 - so presumably what we are saying is that Moira is not a hidden employee otherwise HMRC would not pay her company and would not fall foul of their legislation.

In fact this arrangement does suit both parties, HMRC and therefore the government and therefore each of Her Majesty's subjects (I don't like the word citizen) as has already been said, the tax saving is not as great as the headline figures appear to imply,  If she was paid as an employee she would be entitled to a whole raft of potential benefits that even if not paid would add to management costs.

This is simply another headline grabbing exercise by people who have nothing better to do than to complain about people who in all probability are paying far more total tax than they are.

.. oh and the comment regarding substitution of labour is rather petty - in all situations where actors are contracted (by what ever means) there will never be a possibility of substituation of labour - image what would happen if I was to turn up as lead role in a film because Brad Pitt was busy and substituted me for him?  Substitution of labour is clearly an indicator and HMRC have the right to ask why it is not 'contractually allowed' where there are no practical difficulties to it taking place.

johnjenkins's picture

@Brian

johnjenkins | | Permalink

You would have to change your name to, say, Brin Barete to stand some sort of chance of substituting for Brad Pitt. Don't forget these actors have stunt doubles. So a wig and high heels - would you then pass for Moira? 

good tax planning

paul train | | Permalink

 

The Advice we would all have given for good tax planning .

Good luck to you Moria

 

 think you need to get your fees upped considering how many times  the message repeated on the radio. 

MartinLevin's picture

Waste in the Public Sector rather than legitimate tax planning

MartinLevin | | Permalink

Shouldn't the Daily Telegraph - and all the other Media - be concentrating on this [waste] ?

@Brian: U asked "What's the Problem?" so: Here're my answers ...

dstickl | | Permalink

brian.barrett wrote:

(1) Moira is legitimately taking advantage of what is available.  

(2) .. oh and the comment regarding substitution of labour is rather petty - in all situations where actors are contracted (by what ever means) there will never be a possibility of substituation of labour

(3)  Substitution of labour is clearly an indicator and HMRC have the right to ask why it is not 'contractually allowed' where there are no practical difficulties to it taking place.

Answer 1: Moira certainly has a right to take "advantage of what is available" BUT she also has a responsibility to make any "deemed payments" due under IR35, doesn't she? In my opinion, part of the problem of the present legislation for the accounting of IR35 is that there does not seem to me to be any requirement for professionally qualified ethical accountants to make what I call an "IR35 Tax Disc" statement, as part of statutory annual accounts, which would 

(a) certify whether or not the limited company was caught within the net of IR35, and

(b) certify whether or not the due IR35 "deemed payment" if any had been paid in full to HMRC.

Without such information from "Moira Stuart Ltd" I am unable to judge the veracity of your assertion that "Moira is legitimately taking advantage of what is available"; do you have any further specific documented evidence in Moira's specific case about the liability - if any - of  "Moira Stuart Ltd" for IR35 "deemed payment" and if such were paid in full to HMRC, please?

Answer 2: As "personal service" is all about the truth of whether or not the "substitution of labour", I'm mystified about your assertion that "the comment regarding substitution of labour is rather petty".  As I recognise that some actors are 'stars' that "are contracted (by what ever means)" I have made the following 'moderate suggestion' to HMG to narrow the scope of IR35 so that the administration of IR35 may be simplified, as asked for in Budget 2011: Replace the words "by 5%" in ITEPA 2003 Part 2 Chapter 8 Section 54 (1) Step 1 with the following: "by a monetary amount that is the greater of either (a) the VAT registration threshold for a worker who did not work for a period of at least three hundred and sixty six calendar days after the date his or her previous contract for service ended or (b) five per cent for all other workers."  Do you support such a moderate suggestion, Brian please, and if not why not?

Answer 3: Not only do "HMRC have the right to ask why it is not 'contractually allowed' "  BUT they also have the right to ask the "end client" - a presumably the "end user" of advertising like myself - what the contract means in terms of employment!  Hence my  'moderate suggestion' in Answer 2 above, of which I hope you are now a strong supporter!

@ Paul: I disagree, client needs to be advised of "rule of law"

dstickl | | Permalink

paul train wrote:

The Advice we would all have given for good tax planning .

I disagree, because my advice if asked would be that you - Moira Stuart Limited and also Moira Stuart - seem to me to be offering personal service, contract by contract, and the way IR35 legislation is structured means that you would be caught in the net of IR35, so you MOIR have these questions to ask yourself when you make your judgment about your decision about IR35:

(1) Do you want to see this matter reported in the papers?

(2) Do you want commentators to discuss same ad nauseam, without HMG doing something sensible to narrow the scope of IR35 legislation, like: Replace the words "by 5%" in ITEPA 2003 Part 2 Chapter 8 Section 54 (1) Step 1 with the following: "by a monetary amount that is the greater of either (a) the VAT registration threshold for a worker who did not work for a period of at least three hundred and sixty six calendar days after the date his or her previous contract for service ended or (b) five per cent for all other workers."

 

SUM UP: Great story robertlovell, keep them coming, please!

@ Martin: Rule of law comes before alleged waste ...

dstickl | | Permalink

MartinLevin wrote:

Shouldn't the Daily Telegraph - and all the other Media - be concentrating on this [waste] ?

NO, is the short direct answer.

Aren't the priorities for UK: (1) external defence (2) rule of law and order (3) protection of the currency and taxation .... (r) minimising alleged waste in the public sector ... (n) talking about the weather today?

@dstickl.....can you imagine the following scenario based up....

justsotax | | Permalink

your logic....

Joe Bloggs Plumber Ltd get asked by a HMRC department in Manchester to go and fit a radiator:

HMRC - can you fit a radiator over there for us....presume you will be doing the work as we had been passed your name as a reliable tradesman.

Joe Bloggs - yep i do all the work myself as I am sole owner/director.

HMRC - You do realise that as you haven't got a contract that shows that you are able to substitute someone in your place, and that we have directed you as to where we want the radiator....this contract falls within IR35!

Joe Bloggs - so you haven't considered the other 12 or more points that contribute to making this decision - no wonder you are in such a mess. 

 

Whilst I admire the depth of knowledge you have in this area you don't seem to be able to see the wood for the trees...falling within IR35 is more than just about substitution - so perhaps you should be listing all of the considerations rather than hand pick a few....then on balance you may be able to get to a well thought out and constructive conclusion?

 

@ justsotax: NO: IMHO a properly advised Joe Blogs would NOT ...

dstickl | | Permalink

justsotax wrote:

your logic....

Joe Bloggs Plumber Ltd get asked by a HMRC department in Manchester to go and fit a radiator:

HMRC - can you fit a radiator over there for us....presume you will be doing the work as we had been passed your name as a reliable tradesman.

Joe Bloggs - yep i do all the work myself as I am sole owner/director.

HMRC - You do realise that as you haven't got a contract that shows that you are able to substitute someone in your place, and that we have directed you as to where we want the radiator....this contract falls within IR35!

Joe Bloggs - so you haven't considered the other 12 or more points that contribute to making this decision - no wonder you are in such a mess. 

Whilst I admire the depth of knowledge you have in this area you don't seem to be able to see the wood for the trees...falling within IR35 is more than just about substitution - so perhaps you should be listing all of the considerations rather than hand pick a few....then on balance you may be able to get to a well thought out and constructive conclusion?

Hi justsotax! Thanks for the above scenario, which IMO (in my opinion) neatly shows:

(1) that IR35 is currently a Fiscal Horror" especially when applied to the real world of work, &

(2) the need to narrow the legal scope of IR35 for enforceability fairness etc with my moderate suggested revision of ITEPA 2003 section 54 (1) Step 1 as detailed on AWEB, &

(3) the need for clarity in Parliamentary legislation as passed - like water perhaps, although given the very recent fracas in a Commons bar EtOH seems to be involved - so that an ordinary tradesman does not have to untie a load of "Creative Reporting And Prophesying" [can U guess the acronym 4 this yet?] that IR35 contains!

 

However, IMO, NO, a properly advised Joe Bloggs would not reply "so you haven't considered the other 12 or more points that contribute to making this decision - no wonder you are in such a mess"

rather he would set out to mitigate his risks by the "Activism" route [details set out on page 30 of Douglas W. Hubbard's book ISBN 978-0-470-38795-5] and say "so you haven't considered the moderate suggested [by dstickl] revision of ITEPA 2003 section 54 (1) Step 1 as detailed on AWEB in making your decision - no wonder you are in such a mess - so I'm going to complain loudly to my MP etc about your inconsistently applied IR35 legislation, even IF you still want me to quote for that radiator job that you urgently require in this very cold building that is below the minimum temperature required by law for your employees today!"

 

Joe's SUM UP: dstickl not only sees the wood [made up of lots of trees] but he also sees the need to trim the extent of the wild wood, by skilfully pruning the scope of the IR35 wood and trees thus: Replace the words "by 5%" in ITEPA 2003 Part 2 Chapter 8 Section 54 (1) Step 1 with the following: "by a monetary amount that is the greater of either (a) the VAT registration threshold for a worker who did not work for a period of at least three hundred and sixty six calendar days after the date his or her previous contract for service ended or (b) five per cent for all other workers."

Are you now persuaded of the need for my suggested revision, please, justsotax?

[BTW: I thank you for your kind words about the "depth of knowledge [I] have in this area", but regret to have to inform you that, having independently studied taxation economics at the OU, I suffer from the disadvantage of being able to work things out for myself, rather than having to rely on "Groupthink" etc!]

To be honest I think joe bloggs comment would be...

justsotax | | Permalink

so am i IR35 or not then?  As for Moira - it is not clear at all as to whether IR35 applies or not so reporting a story which implies some sort of underhand tactic/tax evasion strategy being used does nothing for anybody. 

 

 

 

 

@ justsotax, it is NOT clear at all: Shouldn't A R & Accounts ..

dstickl | | Permalink

justsotax wrote:

As for Moira - it is not clear at all as to whether IR35 applies or not so reporting a story which implies some sort of underhand tactic/tax evasion strategy being used does nothing for anybody. 

I fully agree with you, justsotax, it is NOT clear at all:

(1) IF "Moira Stuart Ltd" has answered the service company question on the ITSA Return, or left it blank [which itself can be risk profiled against other entries on the return which would tend to indicate that the question should have been answered. The question is only one factor in HMRC’s wider risk profiling, according to IR35 Forum - minutes  Date: 14 September 2011 Location: Room 2/51, 100 Parliament Street Time: 11.00 to 13.30.] OR

(2) IF HMRC wishes to have such a declaration made in all statutory Annual Reports and Accounts, together with a statement that all IR35 "deemed payments" if any have been paid in full to HMRC, in order to achieve the transparency that is essential for market forces to act properly. [Incidentally, just why we have to have "skins of silence" round these market forces is beyond me!] Perhaps these potential annual reporting aspects should be made compulsory, if the scope of IR35 is not to be narrowed [please see (c) below] in the very near future?

 

SUM UP:(a) Not only does IR35 involve Alleged Disguised Employees, BUT it also involves disguised company reporting too! Straight out of "Monty Python", isn't it, &

(b) The DT reporting a GREAT "story which implies some sort of underhand tactic/tax evasion strategy being used" either by HMRC, or by HMRC's "customer", or by both, does a lot to convince me personally (and perhaps the great British Public) that the scope of IR35 should be skilfully pruned, which logically brings us to - as you've probably guessed by now - with:

(c) Replace the words "by 5%" in ITEPA 2003 Part 2 Chapter 8 Section 54 (1) Step 1 with the following: "by a monetary amount that is the greater of either (a) the VAT registration threshold for a worker who did not work for a period of at least three hundred and sixty six calendar days after the date his or her previous contract for service ended or (b) five per cent for all other workers."

The filed accounts show

Andrew_hound | | Permalink

I obtained a copy of the accounts (for £1)! I agree with the comment concerning filing non abbreviated accounts! These actually show the income stated is ‘other income’ explained in a note as “investment income [being] 10% share in the Moira Stuart Partnership”. The accounts also state that the cost of this share was £22,313. The after tax profit has not been distributed.   

Never mind moira

Chris Wise | | Permalink

What's all this amount NHS "contractors" being allowed to go on payroll?

Paula Sparrow's picture

Are we now surmising that this is HMRC fees?

Paula Sparrow | | Permalink

Can we be certain that this is what the income in the company relates to if it is derived from her Partnership as noted in Andrew Hound's reply? 

It would also be interesting to know what contract was used between HMRC and Moira as we are currently in dispute with HMRC over the use of standard Equity contracts.

 

@PaulaSparrow: As "the public" R "end users" in "IR35-speak" ...

dstickl | | Permalink

Paula Sparrow wrote:

It would also be interesting to know what contract was used between HMRC and Moira as we are currently in dispute with HMRC over the use of standard Equity contracts.

Hi Paula Sparrow!   YES!   Agreed!

Surely the HMRC-Moira contract should be published, in the interests of "market transparency" and "customer service", because we/they are "end users" in "IR35-speak" ... of the "Fiscal Horror" of IR35, shouldn't it ? 

Paula Sparrow's picture

Couldn't possibly do that....!    1 thanks

Paula Sparrow | | Permalink

Taxpayer confidentiality! 

But you can't help feeling in all of this that there is an application of double standards.  Just before IR35 first came about I had a client who had been employed by the M.o.D for a number of years and was then told that he had to operate through a limited company on a subcontractor basis.  Exactly the situation outlined for IT consultants being targetted by IR35 at the time.

Presumably government departments are unlikely to get a PAYE audit because of the circular nature of the transaction, but that is surely even more of a reason to make sure everything is squeaky clean.

@PaulaSparrow:How about trying ASA route,to test squeaky clean?

dstickl | | Permalink

Moira & HMRC & ASA's strapline: Legal, decent, honest and truthful?

How to complain

Anyone can complain to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority). Just one complaint can lead to an ad being withdrawn. 

http://www.asa.org.uk/Complaints/How-to-complain.aspx

QUOTE

What do the rules say?

The Advertising Codes contain wide-ranging rules designed to ensure that advertising does not mislead, harm or offend. Ads must also be socially responsible and prepared in line with the principles of fair competition. These broad principles apply regardless of the product being advertised.

In addition, the Advertising Codes contain specific rules for certain products and marketing techniques. These include rules for alcoholic drinks, health and beauty claims, children, medicines, financial products, environmental claims, gambling, direct marketing and prize promotions. These rules add an extra layer of consumer protection on top of consumer protection law and aim to ensure that UK advertising is responsible.

The ASA administers the rules in the spirit as well as the letter, making it almost impossible for advertisers to find loopholes or ‘get off on a technicality’. This common sense approach takes into account the nature of the product being advertised, the media used, and the audience being targeted.

ENDQUOTE

NB: dstickl has the impression that, due to the “Fiscal Horror” of IR35, Moira Stuart’s adverts with HMRC may transgress ASA rules including – but not restricted to – those of “mislead” and “offend”.

At the very least the ASA should be able to provide an e-copy of the HMRC & Moira script to allow viewers [as IR35 "end users", etc] to fully test out the 'context' and their concerns in order to check for compliance with the ASA code(s)?

Paula Sparrow's picture

But they have already set the precedent

Paula Sparrow | | Permalink

Didn't the taxpayer confidentiality claim get used against the National Audit Office or some such that was recently reviewing dodgy dealings between HMRC and big business?  I seem to recall a report somewhere effectively saying that the NAO's teeth had been pulled through lack of HMRC co-operation.  I can't see them being scared by the ASA

"LETS ALL GET OFF MOIRA'S BACK....."

mikewhit | | Permalink

Oooerr - what are you implying ???

Perhaps let's all get on her front? Lobes? Of her brain?

dstickl | | Permalink

Perhaps let's all get on her front? Lobes? Of her brain?

i.e. to get her to think/say/do something about that fiscal horror of IR35, which is clearly one of Osborne's "Forces of stagnation" because - for startups - the miserable 'hypothetical 5% revenue costs allowances' are much less than the actual 'fixed' costs of startup, which just does not make economic sense - contrary to the sound suggestion of the Tax Law Review chaps in 1997 (@ the start of Nu-Lab) para 1.9 on p2!