Media Corporation uncovers national insurance liability

INTERNET MEDIA business Media Corporation has announced it has discovered a potential national insurance liability to HM Revenue & Customs after a turbulent period for the company.

The outstanding amount covers the period prior to 2010, during which time, former directors were paid by the company as consultants to the group, rather than as employees. As a result, associated national insurance contributions went unpaid.

Such arrangements generally fall foul of the IR35 rule, which is designed to prevent ensure tax and national insurance are not avoided by would-be employees working as freelancers. Investigations under IR35 have doubled in the 2012, yielding £1m for the taxman.

However, HMRC was on the receiving end of criticism on October after chief executive Lin Homer admitted that just 23 IR35 investigations had been carried out in 2011, something she promised would increase “tenfold”.

The company said it is “working with” HMRC to establish what it owes and agree a payment programme, adding the amount is “manageable” based on its current resources.

The news comes alongside announcements that administrators from KRE Corporate Recovery had been appointed to one of its divisions, Eyeconomy, and the departure of its managing director, Mark Butt.

Chairman Phil Jackson said he hopes the group can “move forward despite legacy issues from previous management such as that with HMRC”.

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