Little Piece of Paradise Limited v HMRC (FTT Decision)

17th Nov 2021
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A recent IR35 tax decision has been handed down by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT). The FTT dismissed an appeal by Little Piece of Paradise Limited concerning services provided by former Sky TV presenter, Dave Clark, during tax years 2013-2018.

Dave Clark presented Sky Sport coverage of darts events organised by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

In this case, Clark contracted to provide his services for 64 PDC darts events each year via Little Piece of Paradise Limited (his small company). Sky decided which of the PDC events they would cover and broadcast, for which Clark would need to make himself available.  Sky retained control over the services to be performed, although Clark controlled the substance of his presenting. 

If Clark was unable to fulfil his obligations, there was an apparent right of substitution – but in reality Sky would arrange and pay for any alternative presenters.  Payments were made in equal monthly instalments, which did not vary whether Clark worked or not.

As a supposed freelancer, Clark was heavily restricted in his contract as to other media outlets that he and his company could work with – making his defence trickier still.   The fact pattern meant that HMRC went into the case on a triple 20 and it comes as no surprise that they were victorious.

 

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