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Gary Lineker HMRC decision 'illustrates complexities' of IR35 and employment tax

Published on 29 March 2023

International law firm RPC says a successful HMRC appeal against the decision is 'unlikely'

Commenting on broadcaster Gary Lineker winning his appeal against a £4.9million bill from HMRC, Partner Adam Craggs, Head of Tax Disputes at international law firm RPC, said:

"This decision provides yet another illustration of the complexities of IR35 and employment tax more generally. 

"As so often in cases of this nature, the decision is highly fact-sensitive.

"The fact that the decision appears to turn on which of the partners in GLM (Gary Lineker Media) executed the contracts is superficially surprising, but in view of the case law cited to the tribunal (Memec v IRC [1998] STC 754) appears ultimately to be correct.

"Those drafting the IR35 legislative scheme do not appear to have had the implications of a general partner being the intermediary at the forefront of their minds.

"HMRC have noted that they may appeal this decision.  They may also consider legislation to correct what they will doubtless view as a lacuna, but given the time that will be taken for an appeal to be heard and determined and given the tribunal's findings of fact it is unlikely that any appeal by HMRC would ultimately be successful."