Crunch time for construction companies: HMRC case against Gary Lineker highlights risks

HMRC is widely reported to be pursuing the ex-footballer for £4.9 million

The taxman’s targeting of sports broadcaster Gary Lineker over his tax affairs is a reminder of the risks facing construction companies over the employment status of their subbies.

HMRC is widely reported to be pursuing the ex-footballer for £4.9 million that it claimed should have been paid on income received between 2013 and 2018. The face of Walkers Crisps is appealing the demand, insisting all taxes have been paid.

TV studios and building sites might be worlds apart but both workplaces rely on a ready supply of skilled freelancers to deliver the end product. Whatever the outcome in the Lineker case, it highlights the potential dangers for companies and individuals if HMRC gets involved and starts asking difficult questions about tax and employment issues.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “The Gary Lineker case is one of many high-profile attacks on self-employment in the media industry. Cases in construction might not get the same headlines, but like them we are favorite targets for these cases. Employment status challenges for construction firms can be just as devastating as they are for TV celebrities so using a company to protect you against the consequences of a status challenge makes sense... but only if you choose the right one.

“Hudson Contract originated the market for secure self-employment in construction in 1996 and grown to become the sector’s largest tax status and employment contract service, paying more than 175,000 subbies without a single instance of employment status reclassification.

“Our clients can rest assured they are fully protected from the ever-changing rules and regulations surrounding tax and employment so they can get on with growing their businesses. For those companies placing their trust in less reputable providers, HMRC’s crackdown could be crunch time for their businesses.”

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