Gary Lineker is being pursued by HMRC over a £4.9 million tax bill in relation to the IR35 legislation, according to the Telegraph.
Lineker, who presents Match of the Day, is a freelance who set up a partnership in 2012 with his wife at the time. Gary Lineker Media (GLM) has been used to channel earnings from jobs with the BBC and other jobs with BT Sport.
Whilst the arrangement is legal, HMRC has started pursuing presenters who use personal service companies and partnerships. HMRC argues that these presenters were effectively employees at the time and should therefore have paid the same amount of tax as those on the payroll.
According to documents from a tax tribunal, Lineker owes £3,621,735.90 in income tax and £1,307,160.46 in National Insurance contributions between 2013-2018.
Lineker is said to be appealing the tax bill.
The case has been ongoing for the past year but has recently come to light in documents relating to the appeal.
It is understood that HMRC will take the stance that Lineker was in fact an employee, as he was contracted to host a minimum number of Match of the Day programmes and presenting jobs for the BBC. HMRC will therefore argue that the relationship between Lineker and the BBC was one of employee and employer.
Lineker is the latest public figure to be targeted under IR35 rules as HMRC attempts to crack down on “disguised employees”.
HMRC have had success in the past, with courts ruling in their favour. However, despite the success HMRC have lost several cases on appeal.
If Lineker is successful in his appeal, it will be HMRC’s highest-profile IR35 failure.