What was the difference between the facts and circumstances of the recent IR35 decisions on radio and TV hosts, Kay Adams, Lorraine Kelly and Christa Ackroyd?

All three have had their business arrangements tested before first tier tax tribunal (FTT) as follows:

  • In Atholl House Productions Limited v HMRC [2019] TC07088 the FTT found that TV presenter Kay Adams was not subject to IR35; she was an independent provider of services carrying on a profession on her own account.
  • In Albatel Limited v HMRC [2019] TC07045 the First Tier Tribunal allowed appeals against assessments of £1.2m on Lorraine Kelly’s personal service company; IR35 did not apply, ITV did not employ her, it was buying her brand.
  • In Christa Ackroyd Media Limited v HMRC [2018] TC06334, the First tier tribunal (FTT) held that a BBC television presenter was caught by the IR35 regulations. The decision has been upheld by the Upper tribunal; the appeal related solely to the question of control and the UT held that there was sufficient control over Ms Ackroyd by the BBC for IR35 to apply. 

Each case turns on its own facts, decisions made by the FTT do not set a judical precident however they can be very useful to follow. 

Comparison of key features of each case

Who Kay Adams Lorraine Kelly Christa Ackroyd
Personal Service Company Atholl House Productions Limited Albatel Ltd Christa Ackroyd Media Limited
End client BBC ITV BBC
Main programme The Kay Adams Programme Lorraine and Daybreak Look North
Also famous for role in: Loose Women TV-am, GMTV, ITV Breakfast Calendar
Within IR35 No No Yes - upheld by Upper Tribunal
A brand in their own right Not discussed Yes Not discussed
Worked mainly for end client No Yes Yes
Length of end client contract 1 Year 2.5 years 7 years
Salient features of relationship with end client

Wrote own scripts

BBC did not have to consent to non-BBC engagements

Little or no control by end client

Wrote own scripts

Considered a theatrical artist

The BBC had sufficient control:

Had first call on Ms Ackroyd’s time.

She attended BBC training sessions

Could be told by the BBC who to interview. 

Had to obtain the BBC's consent to non-BBC engagements

Clothing allowance paid by end client no No Yes
Other points     Appeal dismissed by UT





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