Tax Battle of £5 Million – Gary Lineker Vs HMRC

Gary Lineker, a former England captain and striker, is embroiled in a staggering £4.9 million tax dispute with HMRC. HMRC has targeted the Match of the Day presenter as the latest high-profile figure over his tax affairs. This is a long-standing conflict over his self employed earnings. HMRC argues that Lineker should have been used directly by the BBC and BT Sport rather than a freelancer. From the BBC’s Salford studios, Lineker hosts the long-running Match Of The Day highlights show.

Gary Lineker Owes £4.9 Million in Income Taxes and National Insurance Contributions.

Her Majesty Revenue and Customs claim the football legend owes £3,621,735.90 in Income Tax and £1,313,755.38 in National Insurance Contributions, according to figures released in a Tax Tribunal document. Along with his work with the BBC, Lineker hosts BT Sport’s coverage of the UEFA Champions League.

The ruling is one of the HMRC’s numerous lengthy IR35 cases. HMRC’s strategy of ‘disguised employees’ is aimed at evasion. By invoicing their services through limited companies, workers will avoid paying income tax and national insurance contributions. These individuals will pay corporation tax on their earnings rather than income tax and national contributions, as they would if they were direct employee of the business for which they work.

HMRC is pursuing many high-profile individuals they believe are engaged in fraudulent employment. If they believe this is true, they will tax them at the higher rate applicable to PAYE employees. GLM is Gary Lineker’s personal service company. He co-founded it with his ex-wife, Danielle Bux, in 2012. The investigation concerns the tax years 2013-14, 2014-2015, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 for her services to the BBC and the tax years 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 for her services to BT Sport.

Lorraine Kelly and Kaye Adams are two additional celebrities who have been singled out by HMRC. Both television personalities prevailed on appeal.

At the Heart of the Storm: The BBC has previously faced criticism, most recently in a 2018 National Audit Office report. They were compelled, along with other broadcasters, to turn over documents outlining their corporate structure. As a result, many current cases have been referred to the tribunal.

Both BT Sport and the BBC have previously stated that they view Linker as a freelancer. Additionally, due to his status as a freelancer, both broadcasters avoid potential National Insurance contributions. Lineker is adamant that he paid all taxes on his earnings through the partnership he formed with his ex-wife.

Self-Employment tax rules, also referred to as IR35, are incredibly complicated. The rules are not well understood, and they are subject to interpretation. This may be one of the primary reasons HMRC frequently loses at the tribunal level. The tax rules date back to the early 1990s, when the Tax Office began cracking down on freelancers.

If you are self-employed and require tax advice, please contact us. Call us on 0800 135 7323 or send us an email.