Adrian Chiles faces fresh hearing in £1.7 million tax battle with HMRC

Broadcaster Adrian Chiles faces a fresh hearing in his legal battle with tax officials as they continue their years-long pursuit of £1.7 million allegedly owed over his BBC and ITV presenting work.

Earlier this year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) appealed against a 2022 tribunal decision that the presenter’s services provided through his personal company should not be treated as work performed under employment contracts for tax purposes.

And in a ruling made public on Monday, two judges at a more senior tribunal ruled the case should be reconsidered after a “flawed approach” was taken.

The presenter previously brought a case against HMRC over the income tax and national insurance the organisation said was due on money ITV and BBC had paid to his “personal service company” Basic Broadcasting Limited (BBL).

Officials had concluded BBL owed £1,249,433 in income tax and £460,739 in national insurance contributions in relation to several BBC and ITV contracts between 2012 and 2017.

The period covered Mr Chiles’s work covering football for ITV and as a radio presenter for the BBC.

HMRC argued that under tax rules Mr Chiles should be treated as if he were an employee of the organisations and that BBL should pay the amounts it is said to owe.

Lawyers for BBL – of which Mr Chiles is the sole director – said the presenter should be treated as a self-employed contractor and there was no further tax liability for the company.

Ruling in Mr Chiles’s favour in February 2022, the First Tier Tribunal said there was “no suggestion that Mr Chiles set out to avoid tax by supplying his services through BBL”.

But in the Upper Tribunal judgment, originally published on June 7, Mr Justice Meade and Judge Thomas Scott said the decision will need to be reconsidered at the First Tier Tribunal due to “an error of law”.

They said: “We have not found this to be an easy decision.

“The toll which the prolonged appeal process has already taken on Mr Chiles is significant, and was described by him in a powerful witness statement which we have considered again and with care in preparing this decision.”