BBC stars face pay changes over tax row

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SOME of the BBC’s biggest stars will see their pay arrangements change after a controversy over potential tax avoidance.

More than 100 high-earners, reported to include Jeremy Paxman and Fiona Bruce, who are currently employed on a freelance basis will become staff.

It comes, after a report by the public accounts committee criticised the widespread use of payments to personal service companies (PSCs) by the BBC and others.

The report said using the companies, often for on-air talent, generated a suspicion of “complicity” in tax avoidance.

The BBC’s review, carried out by accountancy firm Deloitte, found “no evidence of a BBC policy to engage with tax/NIC [National Insurance contribution] avoidance”, but found “a number of individuals” in prominent positions in the corporation who were engaged with PSCs when they would be “expected to be employees”.

The BBC will set up an “objective employment test” for people who work for it and will review the terms of employment.

The report identified 804 freelance on-air talents who earn more than £50,000 as “a priority”. The BBC estimated 131 individuals will be offered staff contracts.