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BBC tax scandal is start of ‘slippery slope to IR35 disaster’

IPSE has responded to a report released today by the National Audit Office, Investigation into the BBC’s engagement with personal service companies. The report stated that the BBC required some freelancers to operate through personal service companies (PSCs).



IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, Andy Chamberlain, commented: “Today’s National Audit Office report confirms what freelancers and IPSE have been saying for years: the off-payroll rules, which are meant to weed out false self-employment, are completely unworkable. 

“This sorry saga at the BBC is a symptom of crude government tax policy, which is letting down freelancers, and the public sector bodies seeking to engage their expertise.

“Even HMRC struggles to implement these rules; their understanding of false self-employment has been wrong in 75 per cent of cases before the tribunal this decade.   

“What’s worse is that, knowing full well how difficult it is for public sector agencies to implement these rules, the government wants to mire private companies in the same cumbersome regime. 

“The chaos at the BBC is a taste of what’s to come for private businesses. It is the start of the slippery slope towards disaster.  

“This is what the IR35 rules do: they are a nightmare and create unnecessary mess for freelancers and the organisations which benefit from their specialist skills.