BBC Christmas walk-out fears as stars ‘in tears’ over tax change

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BBC director general Tony Hall approved tax hikes GETTY

BBC tax hike: Director general Tony Hall expected to be hit with celebrity backlash

Director general Tony Hall is expected to be hit with a tornado of emotion after reports “distressed” presenters have been left in tears and have threatened to leave.

Self-employed stars who are paid through companies they have set up pay a rate of 20 per cent corporation tax.

The personal service companies were revealed in 2012, when a report found 124 celebrities were being paid through them.

Those famous faces reportedly include Alan Shearer, Alex Jones, Huw Edwards, Steve Wright and Vanessa Feltz.

The BBC caved from pressure by the tax man and wrote to staff to explain they would now tax some workers at source at the full rate – 40 per cent on pay over £45,000 and 45 per cent on anything above £150,000.

And, the first payment could be backdated meaning some bills will reach tens of thousands.

Rumours of a Christmas walkout are brewing as stars demand talks with the director general.

Another said: “They were told about new rules in March, but didn’t tell staff until August and are now backdating payments as far back as April to come out of pay packets on Friday.

“It’s ridiculous. Managers are treated like kings, while talent is treated with contempt.”

A BBC spokesman said: “The Government’s new rules apply to all public bodies including the BBC and C4.

“We are complying with the law and licence fee payers, rather than individuals, are now liable for ensuring the correct tax and NI contributions are paid.

“We are putting individuals through HMRC’s own test and are completing this process as fast as we can.”

BBC: Anger now celebrities to get taxed at source GETTY

The BBC’s Christmas TV schedule could be thrown off course if stars walk out

A lot of people are disillusioned and worried at how much they’re going to be hit. Many have been left in tears. Tony Hall will face real anger

Anonymous

A group of around 100 are hoping to get answers from Mr Hall in the coming days, amid suggestions they could cause chaos for Christmas preparations.

Huge earners at the BBC include £2.2million-a-year DJ Chris Evans.

Sources said people are angry and disallusioned over the tax hike.

One person told the Daily Mirror: “A lot of people are disillusioned and worried at how much they’re going to be hit. Many have been left in tears. Tony Hall will face real anger.”

“Many presenters feel let down. It’s not that they don’t want to pay tax,” The Daily Mirror was told.

“It’s a matter of fairness and upset about how the bosses have handled it.”