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Loose Women Star Faces Another Legal Tussle Over £124k Tax Dispute

Loose Women star figure Kaye Adams finds herself in yet another legal tussle with HMRC regarding a £124,000 repayment. Adams previously triumphed in her initial dispute back in 2019. However, after the matter was revisited by an Upper Tribunal court, they ruled in her favour. Nevertheless, upon appeal, a Court of Appeal judge mandated a fresh hearing in a lower tribunal.

HMRC alleges that the 60-year-old owes £81,150.60 in income tax and an additional £43,290.98 in National Insurance contributions. These financial obligations stem from her tenure at BBC Radio Scotland, where she helmed “The Kaye Adams Programme” from 2013 to 2017.

Kaye functioned as a freelancer via her own enterprise, Atholl House Productions Ltd, during this period. It became a notable point of the case that she had been freelancing for two decades, contributing to various entities besides the BBC, such as ITV. Now, the tribunal’s task is to determine if a hypothetical contract related to her tasks would classify her as an employed or self-employed individual, superseding the actual contract in place.

Judge Tony Beare oversaw the case at Taylor House, central London, this past Tuesday. Adam Tolley, representing HMRC, stated that post a 2008 HMRC audit, the BBC initiated contracts with freelance hosts for extended durations via personal service firms, purportedly to diminish the tax liability for the broadcasting company. In response, Jeff Zycinski, who was the Head of Radio at BBC Scotland during that era, mentioned he was oblivious to such a strategy since he wasn’t part of the contract talks. He did note that the BBC’s regulations were occasionally implemented inconsistently.

It was disclosed that Adams, a former contestant on Strictly, had an annual remuneration of £155,000 under the stipulation that she would present 160 episodes during that period. Tolley elaborated on her commitment, saying Kaye would commence her day at the BBC by 7 am for a briefing, concluding her tasks post-1 pm after a debrief, in addition to prepping for her nightly broadcasts.

On the other hand, Zycinski highlighted the taxing nature of the broadcasting industry. He explained, “Broadcasters understand the fleeting nature of their careers, so they maximize their efforts during their prime. The industry often demands longer working hours than traditional professions.” He conveyed his desire for Adams to be a year-round host at the BBC during her tenure, but budgetary constraints limited her annual compensation to £155,000. Yet, he acknowledged that her commitments to “Loose Women” would be prioritized now that she had regained popularity on the show.

Regarding BBC’s dealings with its stars, Zycinski emphasized the fluidity of their contracts. “While formal contracts exist, the BBC values its rapport with its talent above all. Although it’s necessary to have written agreements for legal purposes, maintaining a healthy relationship with on-screen talent takes precedence over any written contract,” he remarked.

The hearing is slated to proceed. A spokesperson for Kaye Adams is yet to provide comments on the situation.

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