Employment Agency Gets £158M Tax Bill at Tax Tribunal

Reed Employment Plc, one of the Britain’s largest and best-known employment agencies, has to pay up to £158 million tax – on payments it made to of thousands of temporary workers – following an adverse tax appeal at the Tax Tribunal this week.

The Upper Tier Tribunal judged that Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) were due on so-called “travel to work expenses” paid to Reed’s “employed temps” between 1998 and 2006. The total bill to include the PAYE, NIC and interest could be as much as £158,000,000!

Reed had paid its “employed temps” the “expenses” without making deductions for PAYE and NICs. Reed contended that HMRC had originally allowed these arrangements – and so could not now collect the taxes due. The Tax Tribunal felt that HMRC had not been given a full picture of how the arrangements worked; and went on to find that the “expense payments” were part of the ordinary salary on which PAYE and NICs were due.

What does it mean for me?
If you have a tax dispute or long running tax enquiry The Tribunal Appeals process can be an excellent way to resolve matters through an independent and objective judgment. But success at any stage depends on the quality of the fact finding, presentation skills and technical knowledge of your tax adviser – and their ability as an advocate.  Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have prepared for many Tribunal hearings and the process has usually meant HMRC conceding before the formal meeting.  We have also presented cases successfully at formal contentious hearings. We will fight your corner tenaciously, but also with the subtlety and skill honed from 67 years’ real experience.

If you need advice and help in a contentious tax dispute call:

Paul Lynam : 0845 643 9997 or

Andrew Nutbrown : 0771 877 8710

or email partners@lynamtax.co.uk