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BBC to review hundreds of contracts for tax avoidance

The BBC has recently confirmed it will be reviewing as many as 800 of its contract workers to determine if it needs to address any tax avoidance issues.

The new move comes as the Public Accounts Committee released a report into contract workers being paid through public service companies in an effort to reduce the amount of tax they must pay. The Committee report found that the number of individuals filling roles for the government in many different public sector positions including the BBC are using their own limited companies to pay themselves their own wages.

While this in and of itself does not necessarily mean these contractors are doing something untoward, suspicions have arisen that many could be taking advantage of the system by using it as an excuse to avoid national insurance and tax payments. Many BBC workers use personal service companies as a vehicle for receiving their pay cheques, thus sparking an investigation into many radio and television personalities that work for the public funded broadcaster.

Internal auditors for the BBC, in conjunction with specialists from Deloitte, have completed an initial review of the more than 6,100 contractors the broadcaster currently uses. Of those contractors, 804 of them earn in excess of £50,000 a year, which will earn them further scrutiny, said BBC chief financial officer Zarin Patel, though there has been no proof whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of television and radio presenters working for the broadcaster.

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