After more than seven years and two tribunal hearings, the broadcaster and writer Adrian Chiles has finally won his IR35 case relating to services provided to the BBC and ITV between the five tax years spanning 2012 to 2017.
The tribunal’s partial analysis found that all the contracts created the initial impression of contracts of employment, however agreed that Chiles was in business on his account; the evidence submitted to support that position was overwhelming, and in the end IR35 did not apply.
Dave Chaplin, chief exec of tax compliance firm IR35 Shield, who attended the tribunal and who has spoken to Mr Chiles, said: “Mr Chiles has been subjected to seven years of hell which no-one should ever have to endure.
“The judgment unequivocally demonstrates that HMRC was entirely wrong in its assessment and failed to consider all the circumstances. He is the victim of a very poorly run investigation by HMRC inspectors. Questions need to be asked as to whether additional independent oversight is needed when HMRC are running IR35 status cases.
“It was also notable that the tribunal described all the witnesses as credible, and that ‘there is no suggestion that Mr Chiles set out to avoid tax by supplying his services through BBL ‘.
“The detailed decision documented the plethora of evidence that fully supported their conclusions, and it appears there are no credible avenues for HMRC to appeal. They have put Mr Chiles through the wringer, both mentally and financially, due to the massive costs of having to defend himself twice, despite always paying his taxes correctly and the Judge confirming that Chiles never set out to avoid tax at all.
“He won fair and square, and HMRC should now leave him alone to recover from the ordeal he’s been needlessly put through.”
Fortunately for Chiles, the preparation for his defence was outstanding, as can be seen by the plethora of facts presented to the tribunal to demonstrate that he was in business on his own account. The decision includes many significant points such as: hiring his own personal assistant and writing several national newspapers.
Chaplin concluded: “It is worth noting that HMRC was fully aware of all the above points, Chiles having submitted them on multiple occasions in the five years leading up to the first tribunal hearing. The question is why all this compelling evidence that demonstrated his innocence was seemingly ignored.
”The only next step HMRC needs to take is to apologise profusely for wrongly pursuing an innocent man”.