300 BBC staff 'avoid income tax'

BBC signMore than 300 staff at the BBC avoid paying income tax, an MP has revealed.

Tory MP David Mowat, who represents Warrington South, said he discovered 320 "non-talent based" employees earning more than £50,000 avoided income tax.
Mr Mowat said it was "not acceptable", adding it was the BBC's Newsnight programme which had sparked the row about senior civil servants avoiding tax when it revealed head of the Student Loans Company Ed Lester had been paid via a company.

He told the Commons: "Tax avoidance matters are at the heart of this thing about us all being in this together.

"I sent a Freedom of Information request to the BBC to ask them how many employees they had who were not having tax deducted at source.

"The answer is that they have 320 non-talent based (staff), so this is administration employees, earning more than £50,000 a year but (for whom) PAYE and National Insurance is not deducted at source.

"I would ask my own frontbench, who are conducting a review across the whole of Government in terms of making sure this isn't happening but which explicitly excludes the BBC, to reconsider that."

A BBC spokesman said: "These individuals are not permanent members of BBC staff so do not have their tax deducted at source in the way the vast majority of employees would.

"In the main they are hired to do specific jobs for a fixed period of time such as directing, editing and other craft skills. When a person is contracted in this way it is their responsibility to organise their tax arrangements directly with the HMRC.

"This is entirely in keeping with HMRC regulations and is standard practice across the broadcasting and many other industries."

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