HMRC must tread carefully when investigating ITV presenter’s IR35 status

In reaction to the news that ITV presenter, Eamonn Holmes is in the middle of an IR35 investigation that could cost him up to £2 million, leading IR35 specialist, Qdos Contractor, has urged the taxman to assess the case objectively and learn from mistakes made when pursuing BBC presenters earlier this year.

The This Morning host believes if HMRC wins the case, the taxman will then go after a number of other ITV presenters, including Ant and Dec, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby. He also reiterated his contractor status, arguing ‘there is nobody more freelance than me.’

Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley, commented:

“Only recently, the taxman pursued BBC presenters working through their own personal service companies, and now it seems as though HMRC has ITV presenters in its sights. The question - ‘who next?’ - springs to mind.

“While the details of Mr Holmes’ contract have not yet been disclosed, it’s important HMRC learns from the apparent mistakes it made when investigating BBC presenters earlier this year, given it was reportedly the broadcaster that encouraged these workers into operating through their own limited company and it was not necessarily the individual’s choice.

“It’s vital HMRC goes about this case and others in the right way, and assesses the unique aspects of Mr Holmes’ and any other presenters’ working arrangement. The taxman cannot simply assume that one presenter’s status sets a precedent for every contractor engaged by ITV.

“Given HMRC’s unpredictable nature, it’s increasingly important that freelance presenters and all other contractors for that matter are confident of their IR35 status, and can put forward a strong argument that they are genuinely in business on their own account.”

Qdos Contractor CEO Seb Maley is available for comment and interview. Please contact Ben Smith on 07496736688, or at With over 25 years’ experience, Qdos Contractor is a specialist contractor tax, IR35 and insurance advisor, and has saved UK freelancers and contractors over £35 million in tax.

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Benedict Smith
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