Off-Payroll Arrangements in the Public Sector

8 October 2012

The Commons Committee of Public Accounts has issued a Report on Off-Payroll Arrangements in the Public Sector (i.e. people working for Public bodies that are paid but not as employee).

The focus on this has arisen following high publicity cases of BBC staff , comedian Jimmy Carr and members of Take That who have been reported as using schemes to avoid paying full tax and national insurance.

The main type of arrangement used by high paid officials has been to be paid through their own Personal Services Company (PSC).

The report(  ) stated that:

"We were shocked, for example, to discover that the BBC has about 25,000 off-payroll contracts. 13,000 of these are for individuals who are on our screens and on the radio every day. They are the public face of the BBC".

"In May 2012 HM Treasury published its report on the use of off-payroll arrangements in central government, which showed that over 2,400 staff, each earning more than £58,200 a year, were being paid 'off-payroll'. We consider that the report's recommendations should go some way to reducing the prevalence of the practice.".

"Ultimately, whether those paid off-payroll are paying the right amount of tax is dependent on HM Revenue & Customs properly enforcing tax rules to ensure employees, regardless of whether of not there is a personal service company, pay tax as employees. However, HM Revenue & Customs has progressively reduced its enforcement of the legislation designed to eliminate the avoidance of tax and National Insurance Contributions through the use of intermediaries, such as personal service companies, putting at risk any deterrent effect the rules might have on tax avoidance. In 2010-11, only 23 investigations took place; down from over 1,000 in 2003-04".