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P Matthews v HMRC

In P Matthews v HMRC (and related appeal) (TC00901 – 17 January) HMRC issued discovery assessments on two people who worked as entertainers on cruise ships. They appealed contending that they should be treated as employees of the company which operated the ships (and as entitled to seafarers’ earnings deduction). The First-Tier Tribunal rejected this contention and dismissed their appeals applying the principles laid down in Davies v Braithwaite KB 1933 18 TC 198 and observing that the appellants ‘earn their living by entering into a series of separate engagements with a number of different cruise lines in a similar way to actors but with far shorter engagements than normally for actors ‘. Accordingly they were self-employed.

Why it matters: In most cases where it is not entirely clear whether a taxpayer is self-employed or an employee the taxpayer seeks to be treated...

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